A lot more people participate in the Taitaja competition than just competitors and those who promote the competition. In the Taitaja2016 event in Seinäjoki, 110 students from Sedu Education were completing Finnish, Ethics and elective courses by facilitating career paths for nearly 4,000 junior high school students. They were mentored by Guidance Counsellor, Sedu’s acting Head of Education Anne Rintala and her colleague, Project Manager Sini Rauhala.
Together with Rauhala, Rintala organised school tours for junior high schools, career path registration, trained career path facilitators and organised the facilitation of career paths during the event.
Most Sedu students received five competence points and a lot of learning about public speaking, for example, by facilitating the career paths.
“The students really liked facilitating the career paths. Many commented how wonderful it was that they had the courage to participate.”
Students learned how to grasp the attention of a group and maintain it through heavy congestion, in addition to presentation skills.
“They also certainly learned something about organising events as well.”
Anne Rintala feels that when organising Taitaja, it should be remembered that in addition to the competition, Taitaja is an enormous event and Finland’s best showcase for vocational education.
“I do not think of Taitaja as just a competition.”
According to Rintala, organising career paths went well as a whole. The facilitator training could have been started a bit later.
“We started training facilitators already in September. As there was a long time from the autumn to the actual event, not everyone was motivated for the training right away. The training could have been started later, in January, for example. Also, the cooperation between career path guides and sports guides could have been better planned in advance. Now they did not necessarily know each other right at the start.” Rintala is satisfied with the interest expressed by junior high school students.
“I facilitated career paths for junior high school students at the Taitaja2016 competitions. I rotated groups from one location to another and told them about my studies. This allowed me to complete five skills points in free electives. I was able to practice presentation skills and learned how to work with those that are younger than me. Facilitating career paths also thought how to lead large groups in a big event. The experience may be useful later in my career at exhibitions, for example. It would have been fun to participate in the Taitaja competition, if the age restriction wouldn’t have been a problem. I’m a 25-year-old adult student.”