Sunday, June 01, 2008

Two Days in May


This is just between you and me.

The last couple of days of school provide some special times in the woods. The reason is that many students check out with Mom after the Honors Day program on Thursday

Our Scouts lead us in the Pledge. (Someone forgot to point out to them the location of the flag!)

... and after the Last-Day-Of-School party on Friday.

Mr. Shaw's Stars disguised with shades and appropriately tough looks. I had just been presented my special safari hat adorned with a blue band that declares me "Teacher of the Year".

Now, don't get me wrong. I wish I could have that special time with each of my students, but what makes it special is that the number of students who participate is so manageable an amount.

This year I set a record. Only four students remained with me after the honors day program. What a great time we had. (Remember: mum's the word!)

Four boys and I grabbed our sack lunches, water bottles, and the cameras and headed outside. We ate lunch outside, deposited the trash appropriately, and headed down the trail.

Hopscotching across the stream on exposed rock, we forged a trail upstream to the very corner of the property, shucked our shoes, rolled up our pants, and waded into adventure.


insect galls,

grubs, inchworms,

butterflies, dragonflies,


minnows, and, of course, numerous "snakes" -- none witnessed by the teacher who saw lots of crooked sticks, roots, and vines, -- but unshakably testified to by excited younger eyes.

All afternoon these four young fellows explored, snapped mostly-blurry pictures, exclaimed, learned, and -- my fellow teachers and their parents will not believe this but I witnessed it -- behaved.

The boys discovered this "sweetheart" tree - American Beech - with a hole large enough to swallow a ten-year-old.

In one case I can honestly say it was the longest period of time I have been with the little fellow without having to resort to some sort of disciplinary action. He was scheduled for in-school suspenion for slugging another student the day before. The principal wisely postponed ISS to Friday. I suspect the principal reasoned the kid would stay home and out of our hair --as he did.
So I had the joy of an afternoon of fun, learning, and warmth as my last experience of the year with the little rascal.

On Friday the experience was repeated. This time with about a dozen youngsters.

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