Field Trip

      You have not lived until you have ridden a bus with 45 excited fourth graders for an hour and 45 minutes.  The noise, the silliness, and the crazy things they do are nerve wracking.  We went to the opera yesterday.  It was an exhausting trip…fieldtrips always are.  To the point that I wonder, each time, why did I ever do this?  What was I thinking when I made this call?  
     Each trip is like an unknown adventure.  Will we get lost on our way to Atlanta?  The answer? Usually.  Will our bus break down on the emergency lane of 85?  Yep.  Will we have enough lunches?  Probably not.  Can we find a bathroom when we need one?  Depends on if you count trees as bathrooms.  Will we arrive home with all the students we left with?  Probably.  Will the parents be there to pick them up?  Nope.
      Hassle?  You bet.  Headache?  You have no idea.  Is it worth it?  Most definitely.  Once again yesterday there were the usual stresses of taking 171 kids into a crowd of 3000.  Eating lunch on the bus was an added plus.  We went to see Cinderella, the opera.  Did I mention it was in Italian?  They have subtitles they told us.  I guess that would be a great thing…if my kids could read!  So we go inside this new place near the Galleria in Cobb county.  Wow!  It was beautiful.  We sit down and the questions start.  What are those people doing in that hole?  That is the orchestra pit.  Who gets to sit in those?  Didn’t Abraham Lincoln get shot here, up in one of those boxes?  At least, now I know that he was listening in Social Studies.  
        The curtain goes up and all is dark and quiet.  The show was a comedy so the actions of the singers disguised the fact that we could not understand one word.  The costumes were fabulous and boy could they all sing.  I am not a big opera fan, but I recognize quality and talent when I hear it.  Phenomenal.    The sets were elaborate and beautiful.  Of all the day, my favorite part was when the set changed.  Things went up into the ceiling and more came down.  The panels rotated bringing with them imagination.  I have seen sets changed before.  To me it was simply a part of the performance that must take place.  But to my students…ahhh, that was something for them to see.  I heard an audible gasp when the set began to change.  Each new piece brought another ohhh or ahhh.  They were amazed with mouths hanging open.   That was their favorite part.  Mine was watching them take it all in.  
         Then when Cinderella made her grand entrance every little girl wished SHE was a princess.  You could see the dream in their eyes…to be beautiful…to be loved.  It was a tender moment and one they will never forget. One that will give them hope on days that are not so beautiful. I prayed that one day the Prince of Peace with rescue them and transform them into the princesses they were created to be.  I watched their world get bigger right before my very eyes.  That transformation is one that every teacher lives for.   It is why we endure all the headaches of field trips.  There is no doubt that every time I set foot on a bus for a trip there will be something new discovered, not only for my students, but for me as well.

2 thoughts on “Field Trip

  1. Michelle,
    I am sitting here crying. Crying at the beautiful way you express a teacher’s heart- the frustration and the joy. Crying at the way you see life through the perspective as a Child of God. Crying that I am blessed to know and share some of this time/space with a wonderful person like you. Thank you for who you are and how you share your gift.
    love ya

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