#549 The day your class goes on a field trip

It all starts with the permission slip.

Yes, when teachers send them home before the bell rings so parents can rubber stamp the bumpy yellow bus trip to the museum, then it’s on, my friends, it’s on.

Soon the days count down and the buzz builds up as the class gets ready for the day away from school. The middle-ages unit wraps up at Medieval Times, paintings are handed in before the art gallery, and everyone mails a friend a letter before the tour of the post office.

On the morning of the big day you wake up with some extra pep in your step because you know we’re all going far away. It’s time to skip the portables, soggy sandwiches, and long afternoons with the Spanish teacher.

It’s time to do something different.

It’s time … to go for a ride.

Yes, whether it’s the petting zoo, chocolate factory, or a long hike in the woods, it’s time to enjoy the school vacation with some of the following perks:

1. Subs in the house. Taking thirty screaming seven-year-olds to the planetarium is a bit much, so most teachers call in backups in the form of parent chaperones. These subs act like a sweet and sweatered army of substitutes and don’t know enough names or have enough power to mess up the fun. Of course, that’s assuming they’re not your mom or dad. If that happens, your day is done.

2. Wheels on the bus. They go round and round on the way there and back. Yeah, we all gang rush into the slippery seatbelt-free seats and enjoy a loud, laughing party on wheels. There are loud screechy songs, secret makeout sessions, and some friendly gestures at passing motorists. This is also when the classroom’s social structure is on display too — from the cool kids at the back to the nerds sitting with the teacher up front. I really did love sitting up front though. I mean, how about that view?

3. Sealing it in. A friend and I were strolling quickly through an art gallery a couple years back when we stumbled on a group of kindergartners holding a rope and looking at splotchy art paintings. I’ll never remember the jaw-dropping look of pure head-tilting amazement from the little boy at the end of the group — eyes twinkling, mittens hanging out his winter coat, and his whirring brain soaking and swallowing up something beautiful on the wall. And it’s true: field trips often help seal in the learning. Chalk one up for school.

So… let’s enjoy the memories, let’s enjoy the moments, and let’s enjoy the parking lot speed bumps. Yes, let’s all love those special days when dusty chalkboards fade away and buses wheel us down the freeway, far away, far away, far away.


Photos from: here, here, here, and here

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