Passed another “new teacher in training” milestone Tuesday: Went on my first field trip as a grown-up.
As I’m now in week three of my student-teaching experiment (I mean, training session), it seemed like it was inevitable: I’d be tested on that most exciting day for schoolchildren everywhere: a trip off the grounds.
And so with two other “real” teachers, I helped lead 26 seventh-graders to the Bronx Zoo, a cool field trip for any age group.
First, the good news: I didn’t lose any of the kids. I didn’t accidentally bump any of them into the monkey exhibit or into the lion’s cages (we didn’t actually see any lions, but we heard them.)
As a kid, of course, I loved field trips. A few hours away from the dreariness of school, where I could talk to my friends, see new things, and just shake up the monotony of the regular schedule.
As a teacher, though, field trips look a lot different.
A few things I noticed on my first trip as a teacher:
— Forget about what you’re seeing or what the guide is saying: Your No. 1 goal is to make sure every kid is within sight at all times. So when a boy and girl suddenly decided to drift a little bit, I was there to rein them in. My job Tuesday was to be the “back of the line” guy, making sure everyone stayed up with the group. Which means I constantly found myself saying “Come on, don’t fall behind” and “stay with the class!”
— You really learn a lot at the zoo if you pay attention. Unlike as a kid, when you really are just there to see the animals, I actually listened and gathered a lot of info today. Our hosts Joe and Amanda were super informative.
— One of the kids compared a long-necked ostrich who looked particularly mean to their dean at school. I had to work really hard not to laugh.
In all, it was a good day, and a chance to get to know the students outside of class. Plus, two monkeys looked like they were kissing. So that was interesting.
**Came across this story on Twitter Tuesday and wanted to pass it along. It’s a sweet Valentine’s Day story about an opera singer and the toll booth collector she saw every morning in upstate New York, and their unlikely love affair.
See? If she had an E-Z-Pass, they never would have met and fallen in love. My favorite part of the story is that he took her to see the awful flick “Cool Runnings” on their first date. Quite the romantic!
**I thought this was very sweet and unique. Olympic swimmer Matt Grevers had just won a gold medal at the Missouri Grand Prix (a fairly minor event) when he decided to propose to his longtime girlfriend Annie. While on the medal stand. (Fast forward to :40 for the good part.)
Bravo, Matt. Way to do something no one had ever done before. (I also love how he asks the silver medalist to move out of the way in the beginning.)