For me, teaching as a very close cousin to researching. It’s a natural next step to ask students what they think after or before or during any teaching experience. I do this for the same reasons anyone does research: to understand, to validate, to improve our world.
Friday, we came home from a three day, two night trip to Catalina Island. On the boat ride home, I asked each student two questions: What did you learn and what did you love about Catalina.
Some response were factual; others shared big ideas. Realizations about themselves and the world. Sometimes the answers to loved and learned were indistinguishable. Filled with facts, ideas, and emotions, each child told what they valued most. Where they are right now. The poem below is my analysis of the data.
Found at Catalina
a lot in a little pinch.
Shape affects how they move
hydrostatic skeletons made from the water.
depend on algae
our food, the water.
Fifty percent of the shark species is smaller than an adult human.
Sharks die every day because of human actions.
Sharks aren’t that dangerous.
The bottom of the ocean is dark, lonely, and cold
big eyes or not at all they
use senses to find their way
stars at night
glow in the dark.
There is nothing to be scared of.
I can float.
I spent the last three days and two nights on Catalina lsland with 108 fifth graders and 17 adult chaperones. This fifth grade field trip is something students will always remember. It is a life changer for many. And, it is always very stressful. This week I celebrate those brave parents and students who overcame a lot of fear to reach those rewards.
The trip was a huge leap for parents who sent their babies off on a boat to an island 20 miles away.
It was an even bigger leap for students who ventured into so many unknowns. From the snorkeling with fish to the foreign bathroom conditions, students had to overcome uncomfortable situations. After tentative attempts and lots of nudging by supportive adults, they ventured into deeper waters, played, and learned in this wondrous environment.
This week I celebrate all of the adults who took time out of their lives to support all children in this venture. It is a big deal being away from your family, living in different spaces, being asked to do different things. The adult chaperone team made it possible for all students to be successful. I can’t thank them enough.
This week I celebrate coming home to moms and dads who ran to meet their children wanting to know all about it.
This week I celebrate the children who walked arm in arm with their sibling back to the car.
This week I celebrate coming home to my son picking me up, my daughter giving me hugs, and my husband ever supportive. I celebrate my bed oh so comfortable, my cat sleeping at my feet, a good cup of coffee this morning and two days to recover!
Thank you to Ruth Ayers and this link up to Celebrate this Week. I am forever grateful to her for this opportunity and to those who share their celebrations. Read more here.