pooh-pooher: A person who pooh-poohs. (A shout out to all the English teachers out there, we are getting unhinged over here, verb to noun style.)
Sometimes, superb ideas strike me like thunderbolts. Likened to Chicken Little being bonked by a smashing acorn of brilliance. I had one of those today, while on day 3 of post Field Trip recovery.
An open challenge.
I challenge any person who questions teacher compensation packages versus workload, the naysayers of the teaching profession, the un-appreciators to …. wait for it….GO ON A FIELD TRIP. (From experience thus far, any K-2 trip will do).
(Side Note: I will preface my challenge with the observation that the 2nd graders in attendance during this field trip last Friday are mostly WELL BEHAVED KIDS. I can only imagine what would transpire with Santa’s blacklist.)
Step 1- The bus ride with the children. How does thy synopsize? It’s like taking a hot yoga class, wearing spandex stuffed with red fox fur, with shrieking, feral, rabid cats climbing about. Even if it’s cold outside, the bus is always damp and sweaty inside. And of course if it is raining, as it was on Friday, you can’t put the windows down. There is no air flow on the bus. I repeat, no air flow on the bus. The decibel level is at one not known to man. Remember that the windows couldn’t be down because of the rain? A noise trap is created in this travelling metal box with the laughter and chatter of approximately 35 8 year olds. The aforementioned 35 children only really respond to the sole teacher’s authority on the bus. That’s a lot of “2nd grade, take 5” countdowns.
Step 2- The actual field trip with the children (after 25 minutes in The Human Noisemaker). (Some field trips have hour+ rides…) Albeit there are chaperones along to assist, at the end of the day, the 3 teachers in attendance are ULTIMATELY responsible for the 70+ gleeful children running amok. And run crazy, they do. Nothing says party like it’s 1999 than being out of your chair and desk. There are no Von Trapp children on a field trip. That leaves the teacher(s) responsible for any injuries, allergic reactions, altercations, potentially missing children, etc. That just feels stressful. (A lot stressful when the field trips travel into the city.) Luckily, Friday was a cool and drizzly, which helped neutralize the children a bit. I say “a bit” loosely.
Step 3- Dining with the children. As nice as it would be to have an entire class of 8 year olds adore me, it would rarely allow for me to ….take a breath, go to the bathroom, eat a sandwich, hear my own thoughts. I watched my son’s 2nd grade teacher get bombarded (note: mostly by my kid) They swarm like fire ants on flesh. A cacophony of voices singing, “CanIsitwithyou?Canyouopenmyfruitcup? CanIgotothebathroom? Canyouopenmylunchable?Mybellyhurts. Dowegotomusictodaywhenwegetbackfromschool? Mybirthdaywas2weeksago. Ilovevanillacupcakes. Doyoulikecupcakes?CanIgotothebathroom? MycousinJackhaslice. Canwehaveextrarecess? CanIgotothebathroom?” This woman didn’t bat an eyelash. All with a smile on her face, looking directly into their eyes, answering them calmly. WHO OWNS SUCH PATIENCE???
Step 4- Repeat Step 1.
Do I have any takers???
A field trip is just a small window into the life of a teacher. They do it 5 days a week, 10 months out of the year. Before school, after school, on weekends. Feel the love for a teacher today! P.S. Feel the love for a teacher tomorrow- DON’T FORGET TO VOTE!