Well for those of you who doubted my survival during the freshman’s class trip week, I survived, ha! I do not teach any freshmen courses, so it was a good opportunity to get to know more of the students at the school. I was thoroughly impressed by these students in many ways…
First, the kids were divided into groups by colored bandannas. I had the yellow group and lets just say that our teamwork skills started off a bit rough. Through the various activities, the kids just didn’t communicate to help each other do whatever the task at hand was. At this point, I thought I was in for a long trip. They were just so anti everything…and I’m such a “team” player (years of sports will do that to you, ha!)…I was really stumped on how to bring this group together. However, by the 2nd day (and an increased emphasis on the importance of communication), the yellow group rocked. From relay races to wall-climbing races, everyone worked hard to come together as a team. Thus, trip week isn’t all about fun (though we had lots of it!)…it was more about learning to work with others and being successful “team players.” I think this is an extremely important lesson learned because no matter what these kids do when they grow up, communication skills are an imperative part of anything people do.
I also really enjoyed seeing many students step outside of their comfort zones (even if it required me to go upside down on a zip line, ha!). I know we all have our comfort zones…and I have my own as well…but I truly appreciate and respect people who at least *try* (fill-in-the-blank-of-something-seen-as-“different”). And there were tons of kids trying lots of different things during trip week and that was very refreshing to see.
During our last night at the campfire, each student and chaperon went around the campfire and told the group what he/she learned during the trip. Here is where I really saw these students shine. Their responses really showed that they got the point behind their trip week (teamwork) and why it matters. And what did I learn? Well, I learned that 9th graders aren’t as scary as I thought they were (not saying I’m ready to jump in and teach them though, hahaha!) AND I can go upside down on a zip line 🙂