another day on the job

Posted by Debby on 5th May and posted in Robotics, Teaching and Learning

I love days like today. Two hundred and forty 5th graders came to the college to find out what it is all about. Despite what may be going on elsewhere, when I get an opportunity to work with the kids, I almost start to levitate. There was only one small problem. I woke up this morning with almost NO voice! I got the idea to create a slide presentation and have someone narrate for me if needed. In a few minutes before taking the kids I was able to block out an outline and organize some thoughts. On the way to school I came up with a few more ideas and started right in when I got to my office. I only had until about 10, with also having to deal with an unpleasant phone conference from 8:45-9:45. Fortunately I was able to finish up the presentation while I was on the conference. I <3 Google Image search! I gave the slides a final look, made a backup copy on the flash drive, managed to catch two of the tour groups in the library and cram, um, I mean, invite them into my office for a quick chat, and then off to the east wing to set up. Shyanne was there to help cart stuff over and Jordan willingly volunteered when I caught him coming into the library.

After some technical problems (like NO media cart, then finding one, then not being able to login, then running to get the techs, then no internet, then getting connected, then FINALLY getting set up about 1 minute before the first group came in) the fun began. The first group got the abbreviated version of the presentation because they came in late. Michelle was great in getting their attention (she can be LOUD lol) and in introducing me. I welcomed each group, got a volunteer to run the slide presentation, and jumped right in. As always, these things become an almost out of body experience and I get into the flow of talking to kids about interesting things. The adults in the room melt into the background as I focus on the kids. They came up with lots of good answers. For example, in our discussion of how robots respond to their environment, I bump into a desk (OUCH!) and ask what senses should have told me to stop. One kid shouted out “COMMON SENSE” lol. Awesome answer! I managed to hit all the points while kids built interesting creations with the legos at their desks and we even had time to have a couple of kids run robots at the end. Lots and lots of fun, with much appreciation expressed by the accompaning teachers.

When it was all over, I was wiped out. My voice was thrashed. I had to close my eyes for a few minutes and doze off at my desk. But… I’d do it all over again… and I will… on Thursday when another 225 students (including Rachel’s class) show up to see what this college thing is all about. This is why I am a teacher. I spark imaginations. I light fires of interest. I show kids that learning CAN be fun!

Below is the slide presentation I showed the kids and a few of my favorite pictures.

  • …and to think you COULD have been in a 4 hour TLC planning meeting… 9-)

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