Closing the Teach For America Blogging Gap
Nov 17 2010

Solo Chaperone

The local high school district held a special night tonight for advanced kids. It was an event to get them into a high school and let them hear about their options for advanced placement, honors, and dual enrollment at a community college. They were even so kind as to pay for a bus to bring our kids to the event.

This bus was wonderful because most of my kids can’t get transportation so far away. It became less wonderful when I accidentally volunteered to chaperone the bus, since it was my advanced math class that was going. This meant I got to watch children by myself from 5:00-8:30, instead of being in my home writing the term paper I haven’t started that’s due Thursday.

In the end, the trip was actually worth those hours of my time. I’m always really grouchy with my advanced kids – I’m stressed about moving the class as fast as humanly possible to keep schedule, and I’m irritated that they’re in advanced math while missing ALL of the basic conceptual understanding required to even breathe in algebra. This was the first time I’ve been able to just hang out with them and not be worried about the final exam. We played cards, talked about middle school crushes, listened to music, and cracked jokes (it was a long bus ride). Then we got there and listened to speakers describe the amazing opportunities to the assembled parents, and the kids patted my back and joked that I was their mother. They even let me pair them up to keep control, and they would run to find their friends every time I yelled “BUDDY!” It’s probably ridiculous that I find middle schoolers to be such good company, but they really are hilarious.

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