Adventures in Camp Galileo- Week One

by - Tuesday, June 18, 2013

The first week of working as a lead instructor at Camp Galileo felt a lot like holding on for dear life. I spent a lot of the time just trying to make sure I knew what was going on. When you are dealing with 200 small children, it is important to know when and where you are supposed to be. The majority of the staff is returning, so there is a general culture where things can be taken for granted, so you have to have the courage to ask questions (which certainly isn't a bad thing). Everyone has been super supportive, and seemingly every hour or so, someone drops in to offer you some help, which has just been so healing from the last experience I have had. I leave every day exhausted, but happy.

The theme last week was space, and the second day was enough to break a person. The kids marbleized planets with watercolors and shaving cream. they also made a ridiculous mess that looked better on the test sheets than on the final product. It was a stressful day, because the curriculum writer was there, and you could see her disappointment that the vision wasn't fully realized, but I loved that the people there were so passionate about what they were writing and about art pedagogy.

You would think that since the trip was sandwiched between two trips to the East Coast (ack) I would have been exhausted, but I think the adrenaline of trying to pull everything together kept me from really feeling the fatigue.

I am so excited to see how this summer continues to play out, and I already feel so inspired by the experience.

Things I want to work on:
1. Maintaining a balance of excitment/chaos and order/ productivity in my room- this is the biggest problem, and I am not sure how you solve it! I want the students to be having the best time ever, but part of that is learning how to have the order they need to not get in each other or their own way.

2. Improving my interpersonal interactions with the kids- I think of myself as a softy, but I definitely have the sort of harsh, quick side to me as well, and I keep leaving interactions with kids wishing I had handled it better. One of the team leaders I am working with is really spectacular, and she sets the bar for handling any situation. She is the one I am trying to model after right now.

3. Being more outgoing with my co-workers- We often joke about the Greene (ok, Binmore) complex of not wanting to bother anybody. But it is a real thing. I really appreciate that so many of my co-workers have been there for me, and I really want to encourage them as well, but the first step in getting in there and doing that is just getting over myself and my hangups.

This week's theme is African Safari, so I need to finish this blog and work on my safari mural for my classroom. I LOVE how much I get to be creative this summer!

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