Sometimes my best ideas come at the very last minute…like 30 minutes before the kids arrive and you find out Field Day is cancelled due to rain and you’ve gotta find something to fill up the morning – or at least part of it. Witness my ice cream cones! On each scoop they wrote a reason why they thought our trip to the beach was “cool” (Common Core opinion writing!). They had to have at least three scoops, but as you can see, some REALLY enjoyed the trip! And I’m enjoying this colorful bulletin board, which can stay up right until the end of school! Now, that’s cool!
I take it back. Part of it anyway. Although my face is sunburned and my legs are stiff, the trip to the beach was worth it. Each and every one of my students had been to the beach before, and some to far more exotic beaches than Sandy Hook, NJ. Didn’t matter. Yesterday, it was all new, all thrilling and yes, all exhausting. Seining was a highlight of the trip – check out the photo below. Yup, even I did it. Nope, there is no photographic evidence. Seashell gathering, certainly not a new experience for any of these guys, apparently takes on another meaning when done with your classmates. And thank you, second grade, for making your teacher look awesome (which she is, BTW!) when you identified the shells as bivalves or univalves BEFORE the tour guide asked.
Yesterday we began preparing to publish a year-end book, complete with photos of the second grade experience. All were thrilled to see their first day photos, and among the comments of “Look how blonde my hair was” and “I look like a first-grader!” I hear, “Look how clean the rug was!”
Made me smile. Then grimace. Then smile again. Maybe if the custodian had a cool pink vacuum, it’d be a different story.
I have one day to prepare. I need more.
It’s the annual second grade field trip to the shore. The Jersey shore. With sand. And heat. And the ocean.
And a nearly two-hour bus ride with 40 students. Oh joy. Oh rapture.
Now, let’s be clear – I love my job, I love my students, I love exposing them to new information, yadda yadda. But I do. not. love. the. beach.
I know – that’s tantamount to heresy. Everyone loves the ocean – so soothing, so relaxing, so HOT, so SANDY.
To be fair, no bathing suits are required. To be fair, I understand it’s a well-organized trip, full of hands-on activities. To be fair, we’ll have plenty of chaperones to keep things in check. All good. And I know when it’s over, and I’m sunburned and exhausted and mentally spent, I’ll be glad to have had the experience. And to give that experience to my kids.
And there was lots to appreciate yesterday, as our PTO hosted our annual Teacher Appreciation luncheon. Every year, they dazzle us by truly transforming an empty room and filling it with food that blows away the usual yogurt lunch I bring! This year it was a garden theme, and the bare room was draped with cloth, the ceiling hung with tissue pom pom flowers and the chairs covered and accented with ribbons. There were even golden chargers at every place setting!! Salads of every description, quiches, sandwiches, pasta dishes….and a dessert table laden with yum, including a fresh key lime pie! Each teacher left with a full stomach and a flower pot full of goodies. A drawing was held later in the day, and in true teacher fashion, everyone won something! And today, there will be a full breakfast. And to top it off, all of the classroom teachers were relieved of their lunch and recess duties so they could spend as much time with all that edible goodness as they wanted. And if you’ve ever inhaled your lunch while passing out papers in order to make recess duty, you know how appreciated that gesture is! I can honestly speak for everyone in my school – we appreciate your appreciation – not just today, but every day. But especially today!
Now, any teacher worth his/her salt KNOWS what I’m talking about! There is no tired like teacher tired. Is it because we expend so much energy putting on a “show” each and every day? Combined with the hours spent writing those plans that now must include Common Core Standards? Or is it because I watched “Glee” last night and therefore stayed up past my 9:00 bedtime?