I recently held a three week holiday camp working with children. The ages spanned from 5 years old to 10 years old. We did an accelerated version of Learn With Moxie's 6 week after school program. I learned so much from this experience and I am ever so grateful to the parents who enrolled their children in the camp. The take away from my time with these children is ultimately, my work is needed and I make a difference. The goal of Learn With Moxie always has been and always will be to get children to engage, communicate, work on social skills, eye contact, and listening skills without realizing they are working on these things. I want children from Pre K - 12th grade to feel comfortable with me, our instructors, and their peers in very casual, basic and FUN conversational exercises. I've never wanted to be the boring, public speaking 101 teacher that anxiety ridden children dread working with. And guess what? I've accomplished just that!
Each and every one of those kiddos gave me their attention. They smiled, they laughed, they moaned and groaned when an activity came to an end because they were having such a good time. I had parents text or email me to tell me how much their child enjoyed it and couldn't wait until the following week! Some of the kids were very outgoing, some were shy and hesitant at first, to get involved, but by the end of the three weeks, all of the participants were true participants. The children were asked at the end of the final session to stand up and share something they learned, something they really enjoyed, and something they didn't enjoy. Some of the stand out answers were: "I learned a lot of new words to add to my vocabulary." "I didn't realize how challenging some of these games were, but they were still fun." "I learned that it's rude to talk when someone else is talking." Additionally, they named activities they really enjoyed and not one activity got a thumbs down.
I learned things too. I learned that kids struggle with these basic skills. Whether it's related to tech time or not, doesn't really matter, EXCEPT that the more tech time kids have and the less face to face interactions they have, there will continue to be deficits in this area. I learned that kids like me. They think I'm fun. They perform for me. I'm good at this work. I created an energetic environment for them and they learned along the way. I learned that I need to keep going, stay true to my convictions and beliefs in Learn With Moxie because it impacts children. In the coming weeks, as we return for the second half of the academic year, I have many schools that will be offering our 6 week after school programs and I cannot wait to teach every single one of them and learn from every single one of them. My work is needed, valued and I love what I do. Here's to 2019! Keep Talking!