Project Ready facilitators are special people. Not only are you TAE-qualified, but you have experience with youth and specialist facilitation skills which enable you to deliver Project Ready in a relational, engaging and personalised way.
Project Ready facilitators have the ability to bring a bunch of teenagers together to form a safe group space where real personal growth can happen.
The aim of the facilitator is to guide, mentor and coach students through the Project Ready journey to the end where students have succeeded in developing the skills set out in the program.
Facilitators participate in Project Ready facilitator training and embody the principles described in the Project Ready facilitator position description.
As a student-centred program, Project Ready is all about relationships, trust and mutual connections. The content should be delivered in an inspiring, open and non-judgmental way. The facilitator must demonstrate that the environment is trusting, non-authoritarian and safe.
The following points are central to the Project Ready pedagogical approach:
It is recommended that Project Ready is delivered in an environment outside the school, such as a boardroom, community room or a large office space. This sends the message to students straight away that ‘this is different to school.
Group values, not rules
The facilitator picks an appropriate time to ask the students how they want their sessions to run. This forms the basis of a group values agreement.
The bonding of the group will determine how safe and comfortable students feel amongst each other, and therefore how willing they are to share information and contribute to group discussions. The first unit of Project Ready is dedicated to building groupness.
Raise the bar
There are high expectations of students from the beginning of the program. Students treated like adults are more likely to behave like adults. This is reflected in venue chosen, the seating arrangements (circular), the way students are spoken to (use first names for educators) and the first projects students work on (and with whom).
Tell students what’s happening and ask for their input
Students want to be in control of their learning and what’s happening. Students should understand WHY they are doing the session and how it applies to their future. Students need to understand that the content is relevant and beneficial to them.
Be their coach
Project Ready takes a holistic, coaching approach to creating positive outcomes for students: welfare, wellbeing, student strengths, passions and pathways. The facilitator is the student’s mentor, guide and coach.
Take notes on each student
A good coach takes notes after each game about the performance of their players. Similarly, the facilitator must build thorough knowledge on each student in order to coach them in the best possible way. In order to deliver a student-led program, facilitators must get to know their students very well.
Know who to refer to
As the program progresses, students may start to share information that needs to be referred to other staff within the school. This may include the careers teacher, the wellbeing team, the school nurse, the year level coordinator or special support teachers.
Hands-on & project based
The program content is highly experiential, interactive and hands on. It is delivered in a non-traditional way and removed from a typical classroom style of teaching. Students engage in activities, experiences and projects, hear from guest speakers, go on field trips, and then talk about the learnings.
The delivery of Project Ready should involve drama and passion. Students should feel motivated and inspired when they leave. Facilitators must be engaging and upbeat in their delivery, and serious when needed. Facilitators may even talk about their own personal experiences and show vulnerability.
Small wins and positivity
The facilitator should focus heavily on flagging student achievements throughout the program. Frame feedback in a highly positive way. The Facilitator should aim to build students’ levels of self-respect through positive affirmation of their achievements.
At the end of each Project Ready session, the facilitator should outline what students will be doing the following week. The Facilitator should ask for input as to how the session should run.
Pathways and options
Project Ready is built around helping students prepare for their futures. Throughout Project Ready, facilitators should talk a lot about pathway options for students including ‘next steps’ for students once they finish the program.
Give process praise
When giving praise to students, it is important to give ‘process praise’ rather than ‘person praise’. Process praise is a specific form of positive feedback that highlights the processes a student used to achieve an outcome.
Groups are comprised of between 15 and 20 students who are mostly in year 10. These students are at the beginning of their vocational pathway, and at the stage when crucial decision making about their future career direction takes place. It is also when students are most at risk of dropping out of school, or becoming highly unmotivated and disengaged.
Project Ready is generally run outside the school in a venue such as a boardroom, community room or large office space. This can help simulate an adult working environment and support community and industry involvement.
Project Ready (Cert II in Active Volunteering) spans the entire school year. Sessions are usually held from 9:00am – 2:00pm/2:30pm on the schools VET day.
Work placement, workshops and excursions may require additional time.
Facilitators are paid up to 4 hours per week per school for training time and up to 3 hours per week per school for preparation and assessment time.
Facilitators are engaged as consultants by the local LLEN (Local Learning & Employment Network) that looks after the school undertaking Project Ready.
Facilitators are paid at the following rate:
Facilitators and mentors are involved in funded professional development opportunities throughout the year, including group facilitation workshops and trauma informed education seminars. Peer-to-peer sessions are also arranged to support facilitator learning and development.
Facilitators and volunteer mentors are insured by the LLEN for all Project Ready activities. They are covered by public liability insurance to the value of $20 million provided by VMIA. Here is a link to the policy.