Field Trip Anxiety & Thanksgiving

Originally posted on Miss P’s Ponderings on May 30, 2012

After 16 years of teaching, I still get anxious when a field trip is approaching.  I dream about various bizarre things leading up to the big day, and the night before…I don’t sleep well at all.  The “field trip woes” hit me last night causing me to wake at midnight thinking it was time to go to school.  I went back to sleep until 4 when I woke and contemplated heading to school.  However, I stayed in bed until the alarm went off at 5 and was at school a bit after 6. 

An e-mail from a parent who had some health issues last night waited on me, and I prayed that she’d wake today feeling up to the trip.  (Woohoo!  She was!)  Then, I finished organizing…and rethinking my day…and praying for my students and the adults “taking care of them” today. 

At 7:45, 23 excited students entered my room with my 24th absent.  Thankfully, 11 adults also arrived with my final two showing up in the minutes preceding our departure.  We were off!  Heading to the Louisville Zoo to observe and reflect on how plant life is foundational to animal life.  With scavenger hunt in hand, my 23 students went off into six groups manned by at least two chaperones.  And me?  I experienced my first field trip without students in my direct eye of supervision. 

For those of you who don’t me, I like being “in control” of the situations I experience, so this was a test for me.  However, as I saw my six groups throughout the visit enjoying the day, looking for answers, and excitedly sharing about the animals antics…a peace overwhelmed me.  The anxiety had passed…even as I waited for the six groups to make their way to the entrance.

Guess what?  All 23 students returned and after 3 were signed out from the zoo…the other 20 and I loaded the bus for home.

As I sat there, I thought of all my “Field Trip Thanksgiving” moments…

  • Thank you for the teacher who spent hours organizing and planning the trip, so I wouldn’t have to do anything other than collect money and organize my classroom’s experience.
  • Thank you for the 13 adults who not only gave up their day but also jumped through the hoop of the “limited criminal history check” to ensure they could supervise more than just their own child.
  • Thank you for AC on buses!  What a “cool” idea!
  • Thank you for cafeteria ladies who come early to make sack lunches.
  • Thank you for the bus drivers who adjust AC temps and radio stations as requested.
  • Thank you for friends who packed me a great lunch including 2 Diet Dr. Peppers.
  • Thank you for an ice cold beverage after a warm trip.
  • Thank you for safety.

Well, I could write more, but I have a third grade dinner to get to.  Blessings to all…and to all a good night.

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