Before I discuss Day 2 of camp, I would like to put something out there, which I was thinking about today. On our very first class together, as a cohort, our “Thought of the Day” asked the class to add to the whiteboard, ways we handle stress. Everyone had some great input. However, now looking back, it would have been a little bit better if the Thought of the Day asked: How do you handle stress when you only have 5 minutes to de-stress before picking yourself up, and moving on?
So why am I thinking about stress? Did I have a bad Camp Day 2? Absolutely not. I had a wonderful day. Sometimes, I think stress is looked at as a negative thing. Which in many cases it is. But many times stress also shows good things as well, like that you care. You care about what you are doing, and that is why you are stressed. I feel many of us have felt stressed lately, but it is because we want to do our best. We want to be the best science teachers, who are able to engage all students, and make them not only realize how awesome science is, but make them see that they can “do science”, and are a valued part of the science community. The stress we are feeling, is because we care, and we want to do better. This is not a bad thing. I guess I would like to ask..What are 5 minute mini stress management skills, you can do until you have time to go for a run, or whatever anyone does to manage their stress?
On to camp…
So some positives of today. I am going to start on a grand scale and involve the whole cohort. Yesterday, we all mentioned certain campers that may need a little more attention and creative ways to engage. Today, we all did that. I didn’t hear, “there is no way to engage that camper”. Everyone was determined to find ways to include everyone, and they did. For my group, yesterday we engaged everyone, but sometimes had to use 1 on 1 approaches to do this. Today, I feel there was little to no 1 on 1, and we were able to incorporate all of the campers in the same activity at the same time. How did we do this? Well, first we had a better grasp on all of the campers’ strengths and weaknesses, so that helped. But we used smaller groups, and smaller time increments for activities. We also threw in some energizers, like letting the kids get up and relocate.
The first part of the day went well. The campers were making some great connections, like why are we collecting this data. While using a model of the beach to create a protocol, one of our campers just came up with a hypothesis, while thinking out loud, and we went with it. Data collection could have gone better. It could have been better executed, as well as explaining techniques while testing data. As teachers, we need to “own the details”. I will chalk this one up as a lesson learned, and make sure I don’t make the same mistakes twice.
Overall, Day 2 was great. We are making great connections with the campers, and based on our informal assessments, they are showing a great deal of understanding of what we are doing, and why. My goal for tomorrow is to reinforce that understanding and add to it.