Sunday, May 25
Monday morning I arrived at school anticipating a very boring last week of school as the seniors were already done and half of the freshmen class was going on a class trip to Valley Fair in Minnesota. I had decided not to chaperon the trip because so many freshmen weren't allowed to go because of failing grades, I thought I should stay back to work with them. At about 8:45 however, the teacher coordinating the trip told me that 4 parent chaperons had bailed at the last minute and they needed another female chaperon. So I ran home, packed a bag and boarded a yellow school bus filled with 9th graders!
10 looooong hours later we arrived in Shakopee, Minnesota. That night we went out to eat at Applebee's. The next morning we went to Valley Fair, rode the rides, bought ridiculous overpriced souvenirs, ate greasy food, and won a few giant stuffed animals. That night the kids hung out in the hotel pool and then went to Arby's and a movie. I toook the evening off to meet up with Chelsea, Alexis and Sarah who were nice enough to drive out to Shakopee to see me and provide some relieve from 15 year olds :-P
Wednesday morning we packed up and headed out early for another 10 hours on the bus. I got home about 7pm. Whew.
I'm glad I went. It was super fun to hang out with my students outside of school. Sitting at a table with 8 of my freshmen girls in Applebee's was way more fun than I could have guessed. They were all just happy normal giggly funny teenagers. It was fun to laugh and giggle with them. And fun to let them "drag" me onto all the big rides at Valley Fair (as if I didn't want to go on them all every bit as much as they did!), and to scream and laugh right along with them. I wish they could be happy normal teenagers all the time and not have to come back here to all the hard things that make them so angry, defiant, and apathetic in my classroom. Being at Valley Fair, the amusement park I went to every summer from 3rd-12th grade, I couldn't help but think about my high school days and how much fun I had and how many privileges I had that I didn't even think about at the time. I wish all my students had that.
They deserve happy lives and lots of privileges to take for granted every bit as much as I or anyone else ever did. And even though it broke my Minnesota heart a little bit to drive all that way and see nothing outside of Shakopee (not even the skyline!), the kids had a blast and that's what's important.
Thursday we came back for the last day of school. Not many kids were there. I don't think I really even said good bye to anyone. It was kind of weird and anti-climactic. Friday staff had a check out day and that was that. My classroom is all packed up and stacked up and locked up. When I come back in August it will be all cleaned out and ready for fresh crop of brand new 9th graders. 9th graders I don't even know yet who are going to be my future students! eep!
and now... Summer time here I come!