Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Herding Cats

Yesterday I chaperoned my first kindergarten field trip and let me tell you, it was quite an experience. The field trip was at the aquarium. We arrived at 9:30 am but the kids were not allowed in the aquarium until 11 am. Keeping track of five kids in a controlled environment is one thing, but trying to keep control of them in an outdoor, open area was a huge challenge. There was a bouncy castle to play in and an outdoor play area. We had to make sure they ate lunch during this time as well as rode the 4D Sponge Bob movie/ride. I had an extra challenge, as I was in charge of a child with extreme special needs that needed a lot, a lot of extra attention. Not sure why the teacher did not have him (she did not take any kids) as it was not fair on me, the other kids in my group nor this boy, who obviously needed more direct supervision. While the other kids would stop and look for their group if they wandered too far away, this child did not. He was in his own world, constantly roaming far ahead of the group. Every five minutes or so, I would have to run ahead and reign him back. He did not respond to his name being called. If I tried to hold his hand, he would grunt and growl at me. Two times I found him with his stomach across the glass, feet up in the air and arms fully submerged in the tanks. The rest of the kids in my group became my little helpers, noticing when he strayed too far and walking him back to us. On top of this, it was a cold rainy day so I was carrying five winter jackets and two umbrellas. Needless to say, it was very stressful. It helps to know that this will be the hardest field trip to chaperon - it can only get easier from here as the kids get older and more responsible. And I would hope that the next grade level teachers would be more considerate regarding this child. If not, I now know enough to respectfully decline having this child in my group and suggest that teacher gives him some one on one attention.


jamielblev said...

Oh man that sucks!!!!!

Staci said...

Yikes! That's awful (and unfair) that the teacher put so much responsibility onto you. My son has a similar classmate, but he was required to bring a personal aide along on the trip. So even though he was part of a larger group, there was always one adult only focused on him.