Field trips are stressful. I am a veteran teacher and hate might be a strong word. But I dislike field trips. The kids have a blast and that is all that matters. But I think if we could do away with cupcakes and birthday treats at school, then field trips should be next. Just thinking out loud.
As a teacher it is hard to enjoy the trip, at least it is for me. I am constantly counting the children and the chaperones. I’m taking pictures of the children with my phone, so I know what they were wearing. The best part of the bus ride is when we come to a red light. That means that everyone must be silent. I always think someone will get hurt or lost. I am constantly praying in my head, Jesus, take the wheel. Then someone always has to go to the bathroom at the most awkward time. Do I leave the group to take them? Let the chaperone take them? Then I lose count of where everyone is. And I go into panic mode.
This week my class went to Lums Pond for a field trip for our Insects unit. We would use nets by the pond and in the meadow to collect and discuss insects. Our class went down to the pond. It was very muddy. One of my students was using the net to dip in the pond and her foot began to slip. Immediately I went into Mama Bear mode. I held onto her and moved her away from the water so she wouldn’t slip in the pond. After all the naturalist just told us not to slip into the cold, muddy water because you would be soaking wet all day on the trip.
Yes, I took one for the team because the next thing I knew I was in the pond. Cold, wet, muddy, gross and my student asking me “Should I yell for help?” I wasn’t embarrassed. I just felt disgusting because we still had three more hours on the trip. Thank you Jesus I didn’t fall in deep enough to get my hair wet. But I was having a flashback from the movie Stand By Me. I just knew a leech was on me somewhere.
I made it through the remainder of the trip, kept counting my kids and checking my watch until we could leave. We all made it back safely to school. After a field trip our class always writes an opinion piece. They decide if the second graders next year should go to Lums Pond or not. Many of them wrote No, they should not go on the trip. And one supporting detail was of course because “my teacher fell into the pond”.
Just sharing a little humor to get you through the rest of the week. Word travels fast because in the cafe, the cafe worker asked me if I really fell into the pond. Love my second grade children, of course they had to share the story.
Don’t believe the hype. Field trips are overrated.