The start of the day, I was doubting myself because I thought I didn’t have the knowledge on how to work with children (11-12 years old) because for a very long time, I had a bad memory of children. But on the contrary, the Year 7s listened to me very well and followed instructions often (except for when they were being hyper active due to a massive intake of sugar from the other workshops).
My workshop was based on the ATL: Self-management for year 7s and ATL: Social for year 12s. This was a hard one because I believe that Self-management is the most important trait out of all five ATLs because it’s always easy to procrastinate and prioritize the wrong tasks over the important and urgent ones. Me and my partner Michael decided we should split work and focus on different workshops at first and combine the two after we have finished. We first brainstormed ideas on both the workshops together and then proceeded our own, I would focus on the year12 workshop and he would focus on the year7 workshop.
Worked really well! 9 year 7s attended our workshop and for 40 minutes, we played games together in between our presentation slides, which they seemed to enjoy a lot. We first broke the ice by playing a game of bang, and then we moved on to plan time table/pie charts for what they thought an average year 7’s daily life would look like. After this, we surprised them by creating our IB pie chart! Unfortunately they pitied us and said we should sleep more. 5 to 6 hours of sleep did not suit their wants for sure. After we finished our workshop, they asked if we had candy like the other workshops did. We froze for a second and looked at each other and mumbled “We don’t have candy do we…” They sighed in disappointment and instead, we gave them high fives.
The year 12 one was directly after the year 7. My close friends decided to join my workshop to ‘see’ how well I do in presenting, so I decided to make their lives harder by putting them into couples. We had 9 people in this workshop as well, so Michael joined in on the fun games. Because putting people into partners make them socialize with each other, one of our games had them explain to each other, in pairs an object, but without saying the name or what it was used for. Really fun game, but it was too easy for them. So, moving on to the next social game possible, we played bang. Again. Actually, ‘bang’ with a little twist, I’d call it. Everyone in the circle had names of someone else in the room just to make it harder for them. Everyone was confused but they seemed to enjoy it. Great success. Later on, we did the rather productive part by giving them scenarios and how to handle situations when it became socially awkward. 45 minutes passed and our day had finally ended. Thank you all for attending our workshop. We learned many things from it 🙂
I identified my weaknesses (teaching) and worked with Michael to improve upon it before we opened up the workshop. Through this experience, I am further capable of standing infront of a class and gaining their attention for over 40 minutes. Since my weakness was teaching anyone in general, this entire conference was a challenge for me. Even if I saw my friends everyday, conversing with them normally is not the same with teaching them. When we first kick started our brain storm and plans, I was mainly worried about the Year 12 one. As a former year 7, I could immediately guess that I got entertained much more easily than my current evolution. However after 26 caffeine boosts and 4190 pushups, we made it to the end of the ATL journey without any casualties. There are a few things worth mentioning to improve next time. Maybe an advice to the year below for their conference next year. To Be Able To: Attract attention for 45 minutes by figuring out a method including games and important key factors of the 6 ATLs. This can be achieved by making students set goals before the workshop, and seeing if they have achieved it by the end of the workshop.