Today, I took most of my APers on a field trip to the zoo. Field trips are always a "love-hate" kind of thing with me. They're great (and rare) opportunities to do some learning outside the classroom, but oh, the paperwork and headaches they generate.
I really should have been a little smarter with this one: I was the only chaperone on the trip. It is always good to have another pair of adult eyes. Mind you, we had a wonderful day and nothing untoward occurred---but if it had, it would have been mighty difficult for me to manage alone. I always feel hypervigilant at these events, counting my chicks over and over again. At least most of them have cell phones. It makes for a nice safety blanket when someone is late checking in.
The kids are always hopped up about going to the zoo. Most of them haven't been in a long time and they have fond memories. The interesting thing is their reaction at this point in their life. Now they stop and think about the ethics involved with trapping, transporting, and housing exotic animals. As children, it was just fun to point and look at the elephant. Today they wondered how "fair" it is to keep a social animal isolated in a pen...an animal which might normally travel 20 miles in a day.
The weather was lovely today. Blue skies, sun, but not too hot. We all enjoyed getting out of the classroom and getting some fresh air. It's a reminder of what awaits us after we spend 12 more days chained to our desks.
Too bad the elephant doesn't get a summer holiday.