As a new norm of Covid-19, field trips look differently this year. I attended a virtual field trip for a virtual conference as part of Cherokee’s CTI program. Cherokee’s CTI program is a program designed to support high school students with disabilities that are enrolled in CTAE career pathway courses.
At the virtual conference, we learned a team building exercise, found out whether we were more optimistic or pessimistic, what makes a person a good leader, and we saw student presidents of Georgia’s TSA, robotics, Skills USA, and HOSA.
For our team building exercise, all the students were assigned into groups and ranked a list of survival items. The list was composed of items NASA astronauts would take into space and how they ranked in priority.
From this exercise, we learned communication skills, specifically on how to listen, reflect, and speak our points of view effectively. For our next exercise, we were given twenty five questions. The questions gave each student scenarios to which students could associate feeling positive or negative feelings, which also helped in learning perspectives and communication.
Once every student responded, we all checked to see how many positive and negative answers we had.
One of the goals of this particular activity was to determine whether we were more optimistic or pessimistic. The exercise gave us insight on our personalities. It also taught us why pessimists and optimists are equally important.
We learned that optimists offer encouragement while pessimists offer cautiousness for others. We also had an exercise where we were required to draw pigs. The way we drew our pigs represented our personalities. For example, I drew my pig with few details. This means I can be emotional, naive, care little for detail, and take risks.
During our conference, we also learned what makes a person a great leader. Our speaker discussed the importance of using our voices. She discussed how great leaders create great teams of people to work with as well as the importance of a leader showing kindness to others.
Finally, we got to hear from a variety of speakers. Many of the speakers were presidents of state programs. However, one speaker in particular stood out to all the students. Author, Michael Haigwood Goodroe, told the students his life story. He was told he wouldn’t be able to write, go to school, etc. because of his autism. However, he proved everyone wrong. Micheal went on to do many things others will never be able to do. He competed in a karate tournament in Japan, he’s a black belt in karate, and he even wrote a book. His story inspired me and I know it inspired other students at the conference.
Overall, the virtual field trip was a fun experience, and it will be interesting to see how other fieldtrips are brought into the classrooms instead of us visiting them for now. This virtual fieldtrip was drastically different from other field trips I’ve had in the past, but it was something I will carry with me. I will never forget the activities we did, the speakers we met, and most importantly Michael Haigwood Goodroe.