Today, I chaperoned the 7th grade field trip to the Santa Cruz Boardwalk. I've been looking forward to this all week. Mostly because being outside in the sunshine and going on rides is obviously better than being in school with the kids who didn't go (see: all the behavior problems), but I really only went on three rides and the rest of the day, walked around with some of the other chaperones. As I was walking back and forth, I realized I was almost always looking for my students. They always at least smiled and waved as the passed by, but they also yelled to me from the rides and even stopped frequently to tell me about the things they'd done since the last time they'd seen me (usually only 30 minutes). It was on the bus while I was watching a group of boys chat and smile and laugh with each other, recounting their day to the people around them, that I realized that the best part of my day was seeing the kids have fun. The smiles on their faces and the knowledge that they had the best time was way better than the actual trip to the boardwalk. The kids were all really wonderful and the trip went on without incident. Even when our bus was 30 minutes late and they had to sit on the sidewalk and wait, and were clearly getting restless, they were great. Today, I truly loved my job. For all the stress it brings me, and for all that I DON'T want to teach middle school, I really enjoyed my students this year and will genuinely miss them next year.
Another highlight of the day: Bumper Cars. When else do you get to take out your aggression with your knucklehead students without really hurting them? And when else do they get to bash around their teachers?
One of my students today said, "It was nice to see the teachers actually have fun for a day." I thought that was cute. They must think our lives suck haha. I think kids forget teachers are human. It's like they think we just roll out a sleeping bag and live in our classrooms.
8 school days left!