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  • Classroom Jitters

    I'm doing a Career Day presentation at a private Catholic Elementary School and need some advice

    I don't have kids and have no idea how to relate to a classroom full of 9 and 10 year olds. The last time I was in front of a crowd giving a speech I started to swoon and nearly fainted.

    No one has given me any guidelines on etiquette so what would be the proper terminology for crap and piss? Excrements and fecal matter? or poo and pee-pee?
    (You can't discuss being a plumber and not have this subject come up)

    I might start them off with a couple of general questions about plumbing to get a feel for their knowledge and go from there.

    Like 'when you turn on the faucet, where does the water come from?' and 'where does it go when it leaves the drain?'

    These kids are pretty smart so I want to have the right answer.... which is?

    Then maybe I'll do a short SeeSnake presentation to kill some of my 20 minute slot. Some sort of pipe maze like Josh set up with the MicroDrain. Maybe I'll make a game out of it. Kids at that age are pretty visual so I want to hold there attention span as long as possible without putting them to sleep.

    Any thoughts on what other props I could use would be helpful. I want to relate to them as much as possible so if you have kids this age (or you're married to someone that acts this age) I'd love to hear some ideas

    Thanks, Bill

  • #2
    Re: Classroom Jitters

    It seems the "go to" solution to public speaking is to pretend your audience is sitting there in their underwear. However, I digress as I don't believe your parole officer would approve.

    At ten years old kids are sponges for information. Keep it basic yet broad and give them a feel for why being a plumber is important. I would include a little history of plumbing and explain how a society with sanitary plumbing has benefited.

    Mark
    "Somewhere a Village is Missing Twelve Idiots!" - Casey Anthony

    I never lost a cent on the jobs I didn't get!

    Comment


    • #3
      Re: Classroom Jitters

      Originally posted by plumberscrack View Post
      I'm doing a Career Day presentation at a private Catholic Elementary School and need some advice

      I don't have kids and have no idea how to relate to a classroom full of 9 and 10 year olds. The last time I was in front of a crowd giving a speech I started to swoon and nearly fainted.

      No one has given me any guidelines on etiquette so what would be the proper terminology for crap and piss? Excrements and fecal matter? or poo and pee-pee?
      (You can't discuss being a plumber and not have this subject come up)

      I might start them off with a couple of general questions about plumbing to get a feel for their knowledge and go from there.

      Like 'when you turn on the faucet, where does the water come from?' and 'where does it go when it leaves the drain?'

      I'm all ears. Been wanting to know these for years.

      These kids are pretty smart so I want to have the right answer.... which is?

      Then maybe I'll do a short SeeSnake presentation to kill some of my 20 minute slot. Some sort of pipe maze like Josh set up with the MicroDrain. Maybe I'll make a game out of it. Kids at that age are pretty visual so I want to hold there attention span as long as possible without putting them to sleep.

      Any thoughts on what other props I could use would be helpful. I want to relate to them as much as possible so if you have kids this age (or you're married to someone that acts this age) I'd love to hear some ideas

      Thanks, Bill
      I've been in front of folks some. You're in a great position-You ARE the smartest person in the room related to the subject. That should give you great confidence.

      I've worked around my nephew and others kids have shown up from time to time on the job-Believe it or not if you talk to them like an adult your trying to teach something they respond very well.

      I wouldn't get too technical with sonde frequencies and stuff. Keep it simple and ask them some questions. And most LOVE to be the helper on new things. Especially if they get to be part of the show so to speak. So try to let 2 different ones help you do something on a couple of tasks if possible.

      And just call it #1 and #2. Universal, fast, and kind of cleaner.

      What I think today.

      J.C.

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: Classroom Jitters

        P C. I would start the show by asking what are the two most important tools for a plumber. (you will get all kinds of answers--that's good, because now you have them involved.) Have the teacher have an English textbook and a math textbook handy. Without the knowledge of being able to read and comprehend what they have read and the ability to do math, a plumber won't get very far. This gets the teacher on your side, too. J.C. gave some good advice. Maybe bring a few old sillcocks and let them take them apart to see how they work.or........

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by plumberscrack View Post
          I'm doing a Career Day presentation at a private Catholic Elementary School and need some advice

          I don't have kids and have no idea how to relate to a classroom full of 9 and 10 year olds. The last time I was in front of a crowd giving a speech I started to swoon and nearly fainted.

          No one has given me any guidelines on etiquette so what would be the proper terminology for crap and piss? Excrements and fecal matter? or poo and pee-pee?
          (You can't discuss being a plumber and not have this subject come up)

          I might start them off with a couple of general questions about plumbing to get a feel for their knowledge and go from there.

          Like 'when you turn on the faucet, where does the water come from?' and 'where does it go when it leaves the drain?'

          These kids are pretty smart so I want to have the right answer.... which is?

          Then maybe I'll do a short SeeSnake presentation to kill some of my 20 minute slot. Some sort of pipe maze like Josh set up with the MicroDrain. Maybe I'll make a game out of it. Kids at that age are pretty visual so I want to hold there attention span as long as possible without putting them to sleep.

          Any thoughts on what other props I could use would be helpful. I want to relate to them as much as possible so if you have kids this age (or you're married to someone that acts this age) I'd love to hear some ideas

          Thanks, Bill
          If those kids are already in a private catholic school, they will have no trouble getting a career, and it sure as heck won't be any trade like us unwashed masses. Their parents won't allow their children get thoier hands dirty, much less bloody.

          As for subject matter, be sure to drive home the fact that without plumbers, those kids will still be in diapers!

          Comment


          • #6
            Re: Classroom Jitters

            I went to a private Catholic Elementary School, and the best advice I can give you is, DO NOT, I REPEAT, DO NOT SPEAK OUT OF TURN, or Sister so and so WILL slap the side of your head when you least expect it.

            Even if you've been on your best behavior be very careful when going up or down stairs. This was Sister Yevetts favorite place to put the smack on my a$$. Talk during French class and 2 days later a 854 year old Nun comes out of nowhere like a Ninja and schools you on respect
            Last edited by Gene Bickford; 05-13-2009, 10:01 PM.
            INSIGHT PIPE is now Maine Drain Serving most of ME with no charge for travel! 207-431-6232 is nolonger a working # our NEW # is 207-355-1476
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            Comment


            • #7
              Re: Classroom Jitters

              Originally posted by Gene Bickford View Post
              I went to a private Catholic Elementary School, and the best advice I can give you is, DO NOT, I REPEAT, DO NOT SPEAK OUT OF TURN, or Sister so and so WILL slap the side of your head when you least expect it.

              Even if you've been on your best behavior be very careful when going up or down stairs. This was Sister Yevetts favorite place to put the smack on my a$$. Talk during French class and 2 days later a 854 year old Nun comes out of nowhere like a Ninja and schools you on respect
              I always knew you were a little strange Gene

              now I know why

              Comment


              • #8
                Re: Classroom Jitters

                Originally posted by plumberscrack View Post
                I'm doing a Career Day presentation at a private Catholic Elementary School and need some advice

                I don't have kids and have no idea how to relate to a classroom full of 9 and 10 year olds. The last time I was in front of a crowd giving a speech I started to swoon and nearly fainted.

                No one has given me any guidelines on etiquette so what would be the proper terminology for crap and piss? Excrements and fecal matter? or poo and pee-pee?
                (You can't discuss being a plumber and not have this subject come up)

                I might start them off with a couple of general questions about plumbing to get a feel for their knowledge and go from there.

                Like 'when you turn on the faucet, where does the water come from?' and 'where does it go when it leaves the drain?'

                These kids are pretty smart so I want to have the right answer.... which is?

                Then maybe I'll do a short SeeSnake presentation to kill some of my 20 minute slot. Some sort of pipe maze like Josh set up with the MicroDrain. Maybe I'll make a game out of it. Kids at that age are pretty visual so I want to hold there attention span as long as possible without putting them to sleep.

                Any thoughts on what other props I could use would be helpful. I want to relate to them as much as possible so if you have kids this age (or you're married to someone that acts this age) I'd love to hear some ideas

                Thanks, Bill
                Seems to me,the advice you have received,your knowledge,and the seesnake will do it.
                Kenneth Collier
                Maintenance and Sewer

                P.O. Box 9441
                Jackson, MS 39206
                (601) 613-2678 (Cell)
                drainman881999@yahoo.com

                Comment


                • #9
                  Re: Classroom Jitters

                  What JC said.
                  Buy cheap, buy twice.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Re: Classroom Jitters

                    My guess is that your time will fly by. You will wish you had a lot more than 20 minutes. In the unlikely event you stumble the teacher will be there and keep the ball rolling.

                    If you decide to go with it, I would keep the see snake presentation pretty simple. A maze might be too complex for that age. Just one pipe and an elbow or two with a picture of Mickey Mouse at the end of the elbow. Ask them what they see in the pipe that might be causing the pipe to stop flowing. Then, after they answer, "Mickey Mouse", give each of them a sticker saying, "Master Plumber", or something similar, that you had made up ahead of time. No advertising, just a sticker for their shirts. They will love you for it.
                    Last edited by Tom W; 05-13-2009, 11:09 PM.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Re: Classroom Jitters

                      All good advice, but I'd go cutting edge and use a different approach to hold their attention. I'm thinking scared straight, like when they have kids visit a prison and the tough inmates scare the poop out of them. That's right, they're not going to become plumbers anyway so teach them a little repect! Get right in their face and scream "You don't flush tampons or condoms, do you hear me?". Maybe you better just rehearse something more appropriate, wouldn't want you to end up on YouTube, they all have cell phones!

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Re: Classroom Jitters

                        bill, seeing joey and i don't have kids

                        i guess acting like one was meant for me

                        first off the bat, you need their attention. a large tub of red vines will get them to listen. every right answer will get them more. have a show of hands with a few different choices. this will get them to think

                        i think the best trick to blow them away is to go outside of the classroom and give the teacher a battery operated sonde to hide. then go play hide and go seek. believe me it's not as easy as you think since the sonde is not necessarily at ground level. this will make or break you

                        you better prey there are none of my little helpers in that class

                        p.s. i've done it with a room full of jacuzzi salesmen and it was hands on. still waiting for my free tub

                        rick.
                        phoebe it is

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Re: Classroom Jitters

                          I don't like speaking to crowds, makes me nervous. When I was in school and had to give an oral report in front of class, I would just take the F.

                          My 14 year old goes to a catholic school. Whenever we go there for band activities the kids seem very respectful. It's not like when I was a kid in public school where the kids were beat boxing (80's) in the hallways, talking in class, having sex and/or smoking weed in the stairwells, etc.

                          I like your idea of showing them a video inspection.

                          The other day I chased a frog down a sewer line with my camera. At one point I caught up to it, stopped and dimmed the light. It turned, looked straight at the camera and stared at it. Then I chased it to the city.

                          Kids might have gotten a kick out of that.

                          Make sure to explain to them how important it is to flush paper towels and wet wipes down the commode. Then hand each kid a business card wrapped in a $5.

                          Good luck.

                          Lenny

                          Pronounced A-Bear Drain Care

                          I know, it doesn't make sense.


                          http://www.hebertdraincare.com

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Re: Classroom Jitters

                            Lots of creative ideas here from everyone, but remember you've only got 20 minutes and you need to probably keep your presentation within the restraints of the classroom and certainly you need to run it by the teacher, if at all possible, beforehand.

                            I've made a few presentations to various age levels and by far the worse was union guys who didn't want to be there (Total Quality Management Class). Ten-year-olds are fun, but remember they are smart, but have very short attention spans.

                            I like Tom W's idea of the pipe setup with Mickey Mouse at the end. They're probably NOT into MM, but I can't think of a modern equivalent at the moment and I'm sure they'll forgive you whatever you use. (I do have a 10-year old grandson... and he's into the electronic game stuff.) But the whole SeeSnake is cool technology that I'm sure they'll really appreciate with good interest. Don't forget to give them a reason why you need it.

                            As far as terminology, you can probably stick to "liquids" and "solids" and the teacher should be pleased and the kids will giggle and probably discuss the meaning of that on the way home. It's a bit more sophisticated than #1 and #2, I think.

                            As mentioned by Pipestone, I think it's important to keep "education" and skill as a centerpoint of the presentation and JC's suggestion of having a couple of them "aid you" is excellent.

                            Overall, just give them a quick view of challenges of a single bathroom or kitchen and then tell them to imagine that multiplied across a neighborhood and a city and how important "codes" are for keeping us all healthy. That would show them how really important plumbing is and why such skill and education are "licensed". Everybody just doesn't get to be a plumber ya know!

                            Good luck and let us know how you made out,

                            CWS

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Re: Classroom Jitters

                              Bill, I have good news and bad news for you.

                              Good news. . . .I told my 9 1/2 year old niece about your dilemma and asked her what she would like to see or hear.

                              Bad news. . .she said she would like to see you make a milkshake using a snake! Honest to goodness no coaching from Rick, who doesn't even know I asked.

                              I offered up the ideas that were suggested here instead She was all about a demo! She particularly liked the camera down the pipe to see a picture or object. She would also like to see you take the pipe from under a kitchen sink drop something in and watch you fish it out.

                              My brother was disturbed after listening on our conversation (they were in the car on speakerphone). She may end up involved with a plumber somehow later in life!
                              I love my plumber

                              "My Hero"

                              Welcome, Phoebe Jacqueline!

                              Comment

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