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“The Best Day of My Life”

One of my major regrets of this year was a lack of field trips early on, but finally we made it out of the building yesterday. It was a perfect day for a field trip, especially since our trip was to the Bronx Botanical Garden. We enjoyed the incredible weather with a long walk around the garden, lunch outside, and a pretty awesome game of Octopus Tag. Before we even started the Chocolate and Vanilla Adventure the kids were ecstatic.

Field trips are equally fun for teachers as for students. It’s a chance to relax (when you’re not reminding kids not to run, or climb …) and let your guard down a bit. You also have a chance — whether when on the bus or walking around — to interact with the kids freely outside the structure of a day in the classroom.

All in all, it was a great day. Still, I never know how to react when a student tells me, “This is the best day of my life.” Yes, I know children tend to exaggerate a little. And at the very least, I can take this statement as a sign I’m doing something right. But just as when a kid made a similar declaration the day we made s’mores I can’t help feel some sadness over this hyperbole. More than a sign of my students’ capacity for embellishment, I also take it as a sign of the experiential deficit they suffer. They spend day after day cooped up in the classroom (our playground’s under construction) and more days than not, they spend their time at home watching TV or playing video games. That doesn’t take anything away from how awesome today was, but it is a reminder I owe my students more memorable and special experiences.

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