Back from the woods

Just came back from three days and two nights in the woods of New Hampshire with my class and two other fifth grade classes.

This trip was a lot of fun, but it was also a huge amount of work for the fifth grade teaching team.  We spent almost a year organizing, collecting money, running parent information nights. We scheduled activities that tied in to our curriculum on the aquatic ecosystem. We signed up chaperones, we carefully made up cabin groups and activity groups.

Each fifth grade teacher handled at least 50 emails and phone calls from anxious parents and nervous kids. We made lists of who needed medicine, who needed an extra hug, who had a food allergy.  We encouraged kids and reassured Moms for weeks before we left.

Then the day of the trip dawned, and we piled onto sweaty school buses filled with excited kids. We bounced over the mountain roads and once we got there, we got every child settled into a cabin. We ate breakfast with the kids. We brushed our teeth at the sinks beside them. We supervised the morning showers and the evening bed time rituals. We checked in on every cabin, reminding the kids of school rules and letting them know that we were close by in case of any problems (like really missing Mom).

The weather was warm and wet, with downpours on and off for the entire three days. We dealt with mud and floods and pelting, driving rain. The bunks were damp, the socks were damp, our shoes were coated in mud.

Finally, it was time to wrap it up. We piled all seventy children back onto the buses, damp sweatshirts and all.  We bounced our way back through rush hour traffic, with everyone screaming camp songs for the full three hours.

We got home safe, and tired, and feeling very satisfied.

And today I had a conference with the Mom of one of my students. She summed up the entire experience, through the eyes of a ten year old girl.

“Mom!”, my student said to her mother, “It was amazing!  The teachers……they……Mom!  The teachers word pajamas!”

So there you go.  I guess it was a complete success.


One response to this post.

  1. Isn’t it amazing to discover that those darling kids, who you’ve cuddled and pampered and scolded, that those kids figured you always wore the “teacher uniform”, day and night.

    And now they know you’re human. Good luck with that…


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