"Let's Welcome our Guest Speaker for Today!"

Having guest speakers in your classroom can be as valuable as a field trip. There are dozens of people in the community who have specialized interests or knowledge that can interest your students.

Like a field trip, identifying someone as a potential guest speaker takes prior planning.

  • Evaluate your choice of a guest speaker based on these questions:

    1. Who is the person?

    2. How did you hear about this person?

    3. What does this person have to offer your students?

    4. Does this person provide special materials, media or activities for your students?

    5. Is this person available? Is there a charge?

    6. What do you need to provide for their presentation?

    7. Once you’ve chosen a guest speaker you may have to help choose relevant material that your students will understand and like.

    8. Meet and talk with the guest beforehand. You don’t want to bring someone into your classroom who sees this as an opportunity to push for his/her own agenda.

    9. Before you issue the invitation or tell your students about this guest, make sure you have checked with district and school policy. Also talk with your mentor and colleagues.

    10. Work with your students beforehand so that they feel they really need to hear this guest speaker. Make sure the guest’s information is in keeping with the curriculum.

    11. Have your students put together a list of questions or topics for the guest speaker. Make sure to share that list ahead of time with your guest.

    12. Prepare name tags or some other kind of identification for your students so your guest can personalize his/her presentation and call on students by name. Also provide some sort of introduction and identification for the speaker.

    13. Lay the ground rules for what is acceptable behavior. Remind your students that they are the hosts and the speaker is a guest.

    14. Invite the press to cover the event for a story and pictures. You might want to videotape the presentation.

    15. Be sure to send a thank-you note to the speaker.