I just got back from a school trip that started Wednesday at 5:30am and ended Friday at 1pm. We took 62 students to Charlottesville, VA to visit Monticello (Jefferson’s Estate), University of Virginia, Virginia Commonwealth University, and Virginia Union University. 56 hours straight with 15 and 16 year olds. We had to mobilize a group of 62 students for three meals a day, tours, lessons, a movie, bowling, hotel rooms, wake ups, etc…….and we did it without incident…..and sleep.
Our vice principal did most of the organizing of logistics while I somehow was in charge of lesson plans and educational aspects. First and foremost, I had a ton of fun, I got to know the students better and in turn they got see me outside of the classroom, giving them a rare look into my out of the classroom personality. One of the students said it best when he exclaimed “Oh my God, he looks like us!”
However this was not easy, and not stress free. I was awake until 3 or 4am each night walking hotel hallways and then getting up at 6:30am for a full day of tours and lessons. However I didn’t feel tired, I was alert and on guard the whole time. In fact I couldn’t figure out why I wasn’t feeling that tired. Then as the bus pulled into our gates and the students exited to go to the dining hall I immediately became exhausted. I guess my body realized I know longer had to be on alert and could finally be tired.
I do need to vent though. I teach primarily tenth grade along with 8 other teachers. Each teacher had to develop a lesson plan for the students to follow at Monticello. Which they did before we went down. Now out of these 8 teachers only 3 actually went on the trip. All were invited, 3 went. In fact we had to implement their lesson plans for them. Now we had more chaperones, but they were not the teachers who had lessons the students were supposed to complete.
So for the past three days there were no tenth graders at the school, and there were five tenth grade teachers left behind. As I was on my third college tour in one day at 6pm (started the day at 7am) I was hating how easy the other teachers had it this week. When I was high fiving a student who rolled her first strike in bowling I felt badly for those teachers. As I watched the students ask poignant questions to college admissions officers I felt badly for those teachers, as I listened to a student talk about her interest marine biology I felt badly for those teachers, and as I listened to a student quiet a restaurant to call a toast to the faculty who came with them on this trip I felt badly for those teachers.
You can see the good outweighed the bad.
Granted at this point I am exhausted, so exhausted simple tasks like addition and sentence structure are more difficult than they should be, which is why this is so short. My goal tonight is to sit back and not worry about anything because for the last 60 hours I was worried every minute for the safety of 62 teenagers.