Wednesday, April 8, 2015

On the Road with the Class of 2015 - Part 3

It’s been non-stop action since we left Lee High School early last Thursday morning. Thus far, we’ve journeyed over 1,200 miles by bus, toured the Mammoth Cave in Kentucky; enjoyed a few hours of sun, sand and sea at Daytona Beach; spent our first evening in Florida at Downtown Disney; enjoyed two full days at all four Disney theme parks (Magic Kingdom, EPCOT, Hollywood Studios and Animal Kingdom); spent a day at Universal Studios; and, just got back from the Tampa area and a full day at Busch Gardens. We’ve accomplished all of this in just six days.

Of the three chaperones (two teachers and myself), I probably have had the least contact with these students and so I’m less likely to know all of them as well as their teachers do. However, I have known a handful of them since they first entered middle school but this trip has given me pause
to think about what I really do know about them outside of school. In other words, while I know them as students and in some cases athletes, I know very little about them as whole persons on the precipice of becoming adults. While that might be expected of a superintendent who is most often removed from the lives of students, I find myself wondering how much our teachers and school administrators really do know about our kids, K-12? Beyond books and computers and classrooms and desks, how aware are we of our students’ dreams, hurts, cares, concerns, and everyday lives away from school?

While the focus of this trip is to provide a final bonding experience centered on having fun and seeing a part of the U.S. where most have never been, I think there’s a lot more gained by those members of the senior class who chose to join us. Just the process of earning and saving their money,
making the deadlines for payments, and then determining how much to bring along with them for meals, souvenirs, and whatever they want to spend it on is a tremendous accomplishment itself. Couple that with the growing anticipation over the trip, you have a great recipe for teaching kids about delayed satisfaction and the power of budgeting wisely. That’s not to say that all of them had to struggle to earn and save their own money to get here, but those that did are definitely being rewarded this week for their labors.

Today, we head first to Sea World and later on return to Universal Studios (more butter beer from Diagon Alley!). Tonight’s our last evening in Florida. Tomorrow, we check out of your motel before heading to Disney’s Typhoon Lagoon for the morning followed by one last swing through Hollywood Studios or other parts of Disney. We’ll be on the long road back home after that.

More pics from Busch Garden: