Over the last few weeks I’ve been invited to go and speak at different local secondary schools about blogging, social media management and using social media for business and promotion as part of their ‘Future Friday’ career discussions. I’ve done this sort of thing at a bunch of schools and in workshops for adults and I absolutely love it – even though I’ve been out of a classroom properly for nearly four years it’s always a blast to have a chat with teenagers and young adults who want to learn about what I do, and I get a little kick out of seeing the facial expressions of the younger ones when I tell them that I get paid to go on Facebook.
It’s always amusing in the fact that every school is essentially the same. The conversations are the same (thank god it’s Friday / have you seen that the system is down – is IT dealing with it / have you got plans for the weekend) and everyone knows everybody else across the different networks. At one in particular I made a passing comment to The Bloke that I would probably end up bumping into a former colleague, only to then see a science teacher from the very first school that I worked at drive into the car park after I had arrived. It was nice to catch up and have a quick trip down memory lane, albeit briefly.
I have to be careful in what I say during the discussions I have with students. They are in a very different situation to the one I was in at a similar age as they have grown up with technology and social media; my generation and the ones above me have had to learn everything as adults. It’s really interesting to discuss their different interests – I’ve spoken with students who love sports, theatre, make-up and gaming – but it’s also quite funny to hear the misconceptions that they have about the ‘overnight success’ of famous bloggers and vloggers, and their faces always drop when I tell them that, in most circumstances at least, the perceived overnight success actually took years…
Blogging is indeed now a viable career option and the blogger part of me wants to tell them all the mistakes I made when first starting out, but the former-teacher side of me has to remember to remind them of the importance of exams and making a career path a priority while keeping the blogging and social media as a side-hustle, at least at first. I can only imagine the angry parents phone calls to the school afterwards if the little darlings were to tell them that ‘Miss’ said that they didn’t need to try in school anymore because they were going to be a YouTube star.
It’s a blast. Who would have thought I would enjoy being back in school again?