Friday, May 20, 2005

the field trip that wasn't

There's another school that partners with us for a service project three times a year. They use us because we're a "culturally diverse" school, so they ask us to pick 4 kids from each grade who were born in another country. Those kids interact with kids from their school so that they can all learn about each other's traditions, families and lives. The first two visits take place at our school, but the third one is at their school. So today, the students involved in the project were supposed to go on a mini-field trip. The 4 kids from my room were psyched. The 20 who were not part of the project sulked and moaned about the whole thing. One even asked, "Are we gonna have a normal day, or can we do something fun?"

The bus was scheduled to leave at 10:30 AM, so at 10:20 I sent those kids the bathroom and lined them up at our classroom door. At 10:30, I hadn't heard any announcements to send the kids to the office, so they were still lined up. At 10:35, I told them to sit down while I taught religion. At 10:45, I realized that they were still in my room. I ran next door to 3rd grade, since the teacher is a chaperone for the trip. Her room was empty. I went to 2nd grade, where Miss W told me that the bus left 20 minutes ago. WITHOUT MY KIDS.

I freaked out. The secretary saw me in the hallway, talking frantically with Miss W, and asked what was wrong. When I told her, she said she'd call the school to leave a message for our principal.

I then had the unpleasant task of going back into my room to break the news that the bus left. Four kids' faces fell. Twenty kids barely contained their glee.

In an attempt to make it up to the four kids (and give the othes a bonus treat) I got a VCR and a Bible movie from the library and bought myself 30 minutes of think-time. How did they leave without my kids? Didn't they take a head count? Didn't they notice that there were no first graders on the bus?

When they came back at 1:30, Principal came in with treat bags for the four kids who missed the trip (courtesy of the host-school). No apology. She laughed it off, saying they ran out to the bus because of the rain, and they thought everyone was with them. She claimed that they did a head count. (Which I doubt.)

The kids got over it. It's gonna take me a little bit longer.

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