Monthly Archives: July 2012

End of Week 1-Begin Week 2: ENGAGE!!!

I didn’t get nearly as much stuff done as I wanted to this weekend. Then again, some really awesome stuff happened though! We pretty much fully planned out our entire after-school programs for the school year, so I’m super excited about that. Jaime will be headlining the more crafty classes, one being a sort of “Make & Take” and the other focusing on basic 3D printing and using the laser cutter. Charlie and I will be doing a more focused version of the Young Gamers Summer Camp, focusing on cooperative competitive video games. I would like to do an Arduino class, but I fear I may not have the time to learn as much as I would need to in order to properly teach the class.

If I do end up being confident enough in my skill to teach it though, I would really emphasize on learning how to teach yourself. People are scared to look up new information. I am included in my rather broad statement. In all seriousness though, I think that is the most important skill we could have, and the point of every cliche quote about not being afraid of failure and seizing the day gets lost because most people can’t look between the lines and apply that to themselves, they just say, “Oh man, that sounds so deep!”

The question is, how does one teach someone how to teach themselves? I guess you can teach discipline and patience, and also ways to obtain information. You can teach people about courage and self-awareness and hope that they will become better people for it, but that’s the thing with people, isn’t it? You can’t really know whether you did your job if that’s what you’re trying to teach.

One thing I can work on in this class is advancing with the basic curriculum of course, which is teaching them how to program, but one thing I really want to work on is putting certain people in leadership roles. We have a few students that think they would be good leaders, but they don’t know how to follow. Then we have a couple calm and collected students who don’t ever get a word in the conversation, let alone get a chance to lead the group towards a goal. This group needs work, and I have one week to do it. I have my work cut out for me, but this is awesome. I’m really excited to be doing this, and I really hope the kids and parents are having fun with this.

Tagged , , ,

TIL: Teaching 6 energetic 10-ish year olds is exhausting. I like how I was saying two days ago, “Yeah, I’m gonna document everything we do and all important interactions everyday, I’m gonna blog about it all the time, and I’m also going to let parents know everything that’s going on!”

Yeah… no. I don’t remember a time were I was more exhausted. Everyone in the class has really started to get along, which is awesome, and the only disagreements that happen now are when things actually happen instead of  two or more people that happen to not like each other.

Today I noticed that the two kids that started as mortal enemies on the first day are now sitting next to each other regularly when we gather for group discussions and lectures now. I find it hilarious.

Also, I was really proud of myself that I successfully explained the difference between talking and communicating to one of the brothers in the class who had gotten angry at his younger sibling. The fight started over nothing, which apparently is a really important subject to pre-teens, and had almost turned into a physical confrontation. His way of handling that one was to try withdrawing from the group to go sulk by himself during the time set aside for lunch. We then talked, I might have threatened that I was going to tell his parents that he was being a crabby-pants and wasn’t cooperating, and then he was very responsive to the idea of having an actual conversation.’

It satisfies me that, even though I have had no formal educational training on educating younglings, I am still able to get by and make this class enjoyable. I are proud of myself.

TIL: (Days 2 through 4)

Tagged , , ,

Day 1: How Do I Reach These Keeeeds?

Of course we have a few rambunctious ones, but for the most part, these are good kids. They are all at the age where they do things and don’t really notice the repercussions of them. It can be horrifying and hilarious all in the same 30 second. I find myself listening to every word they say, just so I can make sure they aren’t being little jerks without realizing it, but all has been well so far. It’s pretty awesome, this age bracket, due to their minds still being able to mold and shape and form new opinions. They aren’t settled in their likes and dislikes yet. They can still experience things with an open mind.

The dynamics of the group are awesome and unpredictable at times. We have a few kids that want to be the center of attention, and of course you get attention by being loud. On the other hand, we have some really quiet ones that have opinions and plenty of them, but never get a chance to even talk in a discussion unless you quiet everyone else first. One of the goals of this class is to get everyone out of their element and make followers into leaders, and teach the leaders to stand down every once in awhile.

I don’t know if it was the whole not getting enough sleep or what, but day one was completely mentally draining. I’m about halfway done with day two and I feel the same way, even though I got enough sleep and actually ate breakfast this time. I think it might just be that dealing with energetic people for 5 hours a day makes me exhausted, in a good way of course.

This is really fun, and I can already see how kids are going to better themselves from it. I can’t wait to see what it’s like as the days go by.

Tagged , , ,

Things are happening!

The first ever AHA summer camp is about to start in two hours and I couldn’t be more excited. Also a little nervous and scared, and by a little, I mean a lot. To my knowledge, and the knowledge of my immediate peers, we might very well be the first Hackerspace in at least the United States to offer summer camps. Even if we aren’t, this is a historic day for All Hands Active, and it’s hard not to feel the pressure from it all. I mean, how many tries do you get to make something successful in an organization before you start letting people down?

I’m going to try to not think about that and just focus on making this the most awesome class AHA has ever had.