Field Trips

Here are two facts about me:

  1. I love teaching
  2. I hate field trips

If at all possible, I do not go OR I make sure they are in school field trips…everyone is well contained then and no one has to ride on the bus (shudder).

But sometimes it is inevitable, and one of those times was Tuesday.

We made our yearly trip to the Telus World of Science. Now if you have never been there before, it is a great place to go and learn about Science-y things and watch a cool IMAX movie. But when you are taking 68 8-year olds, it’s really the last place on earth you want to be (correction, the BUS is the last place you want to be, the Science center is the second last place)

The bus ride is loud, you get off and try to keep kids in some semblance of a line and move inside where you proceed to hang 68 coats while still trying to keep kids in a group…if it’s hard to picture, imagine herding cats…in a thunderstorm.

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1SmgLtg1Izw?rel=0&w=420&h=315]

 

Please know that I do not do this alone, that would be suicide. Parents are welcome and I strongly suggest that my student teachers come along for the rich experience it will give them.

I did have one mom say to me amid the yelling and chaos, “You do this everyday!” in astonishment.

I replied “Yep…and it’s just me in that room…”

I think she had a new appreciation for what I do.

As our program started and the kids calmed down, I remembered why, every year, we do this field trip. It really is kind of fun…

We build roller coasters.

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All the stuff that is hard about a field trip kind of melts away when you watch kids explore, create, cooperate and problem solve. And the BEST part is when they come running to you excited to share their discovery and proud of their accomplishment.

Make no mistake…I hate field trips.

But boy I love teaching.

Halloween from the teacher’s perspective

Kid’s love Halloween….I mean they LOVE Halloween. There is just something about dressing up that gets kids so excited.

And it is fun. It’s great to get dressed up, show off your costume, laugh and have a good time….but imagine having 32 kids doing this, and then imagine having to TEACH them things. It comes with its challenges.

At some point you have to give in to the day a bit and realize that you are not getting a student’s full potential when they are dressed like the hulk with a mask on. But you still have to get SOMETHING done. You just have to be creative about how you structure your day.

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I dressed up as a lion tamer and my teaching partner was Dr. Nefario from Despicable Me.

Unfortunately sometimes this stuff is lost on elementary students.

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One kid asked me if I could do some magic tricks (they thought I was a magician) and kids looked blankly at Angie when she asked them if they knew who she was. Finally she put on a name tag.

I’ll never forget the year Angie dressed up as Raggedy Ann and the kids kept asking her why she was dressed up as the lady from the fast food restaurant (Wendy’s)….

We kept our Halloween party until the last hour of the day.

And just so you know, this is where a teacher’s patience is truly tested.

Angie loves games and fun activities where things get wild and crazy, and usually I like to shut those ideas down. It’s too chaotic and noisy for me. But she reminds me that the kids just love it when we have a little fun and we make some memories as a class, so I went along with it.

If I only knew what I was getting myself in to.

Angie had asked each student to bring a roll of toilet paper…we were going to do the mummy wrap, where students get to wrap each other in toilet paper like a mummy as fast as they can (surprisingly this was a great problem solving activity for a lot of kids)

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Once the first group was done, they got to break free and they wrapped their partner in toilet paper.

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I’m sure you can only imagine the amount of toilet paper that was strewn about the gym by the time we were done.

Now if this was not enough, I had invited my principal to come and take some pictures of the mayhem.

He walks up to me just as we are about to start cleaning up and he says “I have a neat idea for a picture…”

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Now just imagine the scene.

64 students who are practically vibrating with excitement. I must have asked for their attention about a million times (at some point you just start to sound like a crazy person repeating yourself over and over and over and…well you get the picture)

Once we finally got them all organized with a handful of toilet paper, I began to explain what was going to happen

“Ok, I am going to just stand out of the way of the camera and I am slowly going to count to three. When I get to three you are all going to throw your toilet paper in the air. DON’T DO IT YET”

And then one kid throws his handful of paper in the air….

“What are you doing?” I said

He just stared at me blankly because he was so excited he could not control himself. He mumbled something and scrambled to pick up his wad of toilet paper.

“Ok, here we go, 1, 2, 3, NOW!”

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As a teacher, I have to remind myself that these are the times that keep kids wanting to be at school so that we CAN teach them things.

Though it was an absolute ringing gong for a whole hour, those kids left school with smiles on their faces, stories to tell their parents and they will return tomorrow excited about what comes next….little do they know, ┬áit’s work!