Heading into the week, I was thrilled. I had just come off a great two weeks of teaching and was ready to go into a third. I had prepared extra for my third week of lesson plans because I was especially interested in this week’s material. Robots. While I am not an engineering major, I do enjoy the intricacies of robots. One of my favorite parts of the lesson was talking to the girls about human-like robots.
I was in for a different kind of week, however. The first day of robotics did not go as planned! The girls were not engaged in the material, and not taking to robotics as much as I was or as much as I had hoped they would. Girls were not raising their hands when I would ask discussion questions and were more focused on when snack was than what was planned next in my lesson. Monday was a disappointing day. Tuesday proved just as saddening.
As one who likes to find solutions to situations that aren’t perfect, I went home and decided to change the discussion topics and try to get content that would interest the girls more. I noticed that both days, girls were very intrigued by Sophia the Robot. I added a few more videos and questions regarding Sophia. Wednesday and Thursday were much better, however, I noticed that all four days of my lesson plan, the students were more focused on what the human-like robots were saying and their looks rather than the way they were made and are used. Trying to refocus the girls was a failed mission, but the girls seemed to have more fun on Thursday and Friday.
Sometimes I find myself needing to lower my expectations trying harder to live in the moment. When I get ahead of myself, often I am let down, and that can ruin an experience for me.
On Wednesday, we partook in an activity called Cross The Line, in which girls and staff members were to stand on one side of the gym and cross a line of tape if a statement that is read applies to them. This experience put the whole week into perspective for me. Statements like “Cross the line if you have ever gone to sleep hungry because your family did not have enough food” and “Cross the line if anyone has ever physically hurt you” resulted in over half the girls crossing the line. This experience opened my eyes and made me realize that for the girls just coming to camp was educational and helpful, even if one of their robotics lessons did not stick with them.