Tuesday, June 17, 2014

adventures in teaching: a class field trip to an amusement park in taiwan



This past month, I was conned into taking my whole homeroom to an amusement park in Taiwan. Okay, I guess it would be fair to say the kids strongly suggested how much they would pretty please love to go on a class field trip and I am a pushover and they know it so I said yes.

Don't worry.
I am not too far gone.
I did say no to the idea of an overnighter.

As an American with an American perspective, I was worried about all kinds of things. Sure, I had taken kids on field trips in the states but they were academic. To a museum. And for every five kids, there was at least one adult chaperon. And the trips were always on school days.

So when I went to the admin office at my school wanting to suggest that I, just I, take 30 kids to an amusement park on a Saturday just for the hell of it, I was prepared to be shot down.

But, all I had to do was say "Can I take the kids to Leofoo Village..." and the answer was: of course.

I teach 8th grade so that means my kids are 13-14 years old.
There are 30 of them.
And one of me.

Trust me, after I got the go ahead from the office, I started to have doubts.

I worried about whether they would be responsible enough to go with just me.
I worried about taking them someplace I had never been in a foreign country that uses a language I do not understand.
I worried about safety and all of the things teachers worry about when it comes to their kids.

But all those worries were for naught.

The field trip day arrived and I gave them my schpeel, which basically reaffirmed everything they had come to learn about me in our eight months together: if I tell them to be somewhere at noon and they are not there by 12:02, I will be convinced a snake killed them or a plane fell out of the sky and landed on them or they were gravely injured while waiting in line for a ride.

So, in good faith, I let them scurry their separate ways at the park and was forced to endure horrifying ride after horrifying ride, most of which went really, really fast and turned me upside down multiple times, while my students giggled themselves silly and I screamed until my voice became raw.

I think it was their form of payback for the 10 essays I made them write this past year and especially for the three speeches I made them give.

But, truth be told, I had an absolute blast with my kids.

Was the language barrier an issue?
A little bit.
But one of my students helped me find and order a cup of coffee so all was right in my world.

Was it a little intimidating to be in charge of 30 kids in a completely chaotic and unfamiliar place?
A little bit.
But you know what?
Every single kid was on time or even early for every attendance check in and we had a great day together.


I really love my job. 








20 comments

  1. It must be wonderful to know that your students are reliable. I would have had the same doubts and I certainly wouldn't be a good teacher as in I just have no patience at all. But that day surely must have felt like a little reward for your work as well as a little revenge ;)

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    1. It's funny. I ONLY have patience for my kids. Not the kids down the hall, not the kids at another school. Honestly, I cannot stand most kids. My students, on the other hand, are a totally different story.

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  2. What a great story; I know I'd be worried setting out too but it seems you have a great bunch of kids who respect you as their teacher.

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    1. I am lucky and I seriously have the coolest kiddos!

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  3. Wow--now that's a huge adventure...and yes, a scary one considering that you were solely responsible for all of those kids! Glad you had fun!

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    1. It was a great adventure and a great day!

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  4. Oh my god! I'm just picturing how this would go with Russian children... Nope nope nope.

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    1. Hahaha! What would likely happen???

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  5. That first picture is just so amazing! Wow it really shows the difference with what we see as an amusement park and how it is over there. Beautiful! And how amazing that you can focus on being there for your students and not have to police them! Must have made the day even better :)

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    1. There is so much imagination to the theme park. It was a blast.

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  6. Replies
    1. It certainly didn't feel like work, which is the best kind of work.

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  7. just finding your blog and iLOVEit. you have such a great voice ;) this gave me anxiety thinking about chaperoning 30 teenagers by myself! so sweet that the respect you so much!

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    1. Awe, thanks! Trust me, I had my fair share of anxiety about it.

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  8. Amazing! I would be scared shitless to do this. Bet the kids had a great time. Did you go on any rides?

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    1. They had a blast (and so did I). I DID ride quite a few. The Ring of Fire was TERRIFYING!

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  9. Wow cool! I can't imagine being brave enough to do this as a teacher. However, I did go to the local amusement park here in grade 9. They were having a physics day, inviting high schools to the park for the day. We had a few worksheets to fill out about each ride we went on, but otherwise it was just a day to wander around on our own and scream our heads off.

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    1. Hahaha. Yup. There was plenty of screaming but no worksheets.

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