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The Orange County regional summit is right around the corner, so I had to present my CAP lesson in a mock presentation at the end of the week. My lesson would sort of set the stage for the entire weeklong summit, and I felt anxious about showing off the finished product. I felt confident that I had a pretty good grasp on what I had to accomplish and what we wanted to instill in the girls once they completed the activity. However, I had this looming sense of uneasiness because there was no surefire way to ensure that my vision for the activity was aligned with what my fellow mentors and program manager had in mind without putting my own plan into action.

Presenting my lesson gave me a newfound sense of empathy for educators everywhere. I almost felt like I was putting on a show and receiving live feedback from my critics via their facial expressions which was nerve-wracking to say the least. The actual execution of the content went smoothly, but the interim in between individual writing activities and thought experiments were a bit odd for me. I wasn’t quite sure where to stand or what to do with my hands so occupied myself by taking notes of my own, and it actually ended up being pretty useful. I took note of the moments during my lesson when I thought I could improve the way I phrased certain prompts and used that information to actively tailor different parts of my lesson plan to ensure that I had emphasized the concepts that were most relevant to my students and the objective of my activity.

All in all, the presentation was received well. The content we needed was there, but the lesson was structured in manner that was reflective of my personal thought process. I shoot out ideas like volleying ping pong balls and somehow manage to tie everything back together which works for me as an individual but isn’t so great when I want other people to follow along with my thought process. I wanted to ensure that all of the connections between each exercise within the activity were clearly expressed, so I used the feedback I received to reorganize my material to create something that conveyed my message and aligned with what my coworkers had envisioned. The whole process taught me a lot about effectively communicating my ideas. Just because I thought something was crystal clear, didn’t mean there were different or more efficient ways to express the same message. I genuinely felt like made a meaningful contribution to the team, and it was a perfect way to end the week.