Wednesday, October 28, 2009
Woo! Training out the window!
Today we took the students on a field trip...by the way, if you're in the DC area, the Spy Museum is free on the last Wednesday of every month.
Anyway, a field trip is always an interesting experience, sometimes good, sometimes bad, but always unpredictable. We met the students outside of their school to make it easier for us to get there, since the bus stop is just across the street from school. We always provide them with a snack when program begins for the day, so I had the snack bag and was ready. I made sure they signed into program, gave them a snack, told them to make sure they stayed near us, do not throw your wrappers on the ground, etc. Of course, we were right where all of the other students could come and heckle and haggle, including a few former students of our program. One of them decided she wanted to cuss up a storm in front of us, and slap some of our students, since she is no longer in our program and technically, we can't do anything to her. Then she commences stealing my favorite pen (which we used at sign in...the students know its my favorite pen, and have a fit when I don't know who has it)...I ask "who has my purple pen, who has my purple pen?"...Former student speaks up about a minute later..."________ has it", and I look over and see _____picking it up off the ground to give to me. I ask her if she had had the pen all along, she tells me no, and I told her I believed her. _____is the quiet and shy type, and isn't one to throw a pen on the ground, much less keep the pen. Ugh. Anyway, former student was obviously trying to find some attention from the staff, since she wasn't getting it from the students (except the ones she slapped...I had to go calm down one of my girls who went after her). Moving on.
We take the bus downtown, and for the most part, that was nice, easy, uneventful, and complaint free. Just the way I like things.
We get off the bus and have to walk from 7th and Pennsylvania to 9th and H...not a far walk at all...but the complaints begin. "I didn't know we would be walking forever. I wanna stop at Starbucks, why can't we stop at Starbucks? (Do YOU have Starbucks money?) Why do we always take field trips to museums? Why can't yall ever take us to Kings Dominion?" After about...5 to 10 minutes of this, I asked aloud "Does anyone plan to continue complaining? I'd like to know right now who I need to tune out for the rest of the day". I mean REALLY. This is a FREE program. We feed you. We pay your bus fare. We make sure you get into these things. We make sure we have permission slips. We provide everything you need. You are not required to do anything but get your permission slip signed, bring it back, show up on time and participate. How hard is that?
To certain 6th, 7th and 8th graders, it seems to be the end of the world.
We get to the spy museum, and realize that 95.5 WPGC is there for the day, so of course, the girls get excited. They listen to this radio station, and know the DJ who is making the appearance. They take pictures, and are given goodie bags full of candy.
We then begin making our way through the museum. We let them know that it is now 4:10, we need to meet in the gift shop at 5. True, we don't have alot of time (now that your complaining behinds have taken 15 minutes to walk what should have been 5 minutes), so lets make the best of the time we do have. And for the most part, they did enjoy what they saw. At 5, we congregated in the gift shop, and people were looking around. We were then ushered into the cafe, where WPGC bought the girls (doggit, not the staff) lunches. A mini turkey sandwich, a cookie and some chips, pre-packaged, with a bottle of water to go with.
THESE INGRATEFUL HEFFAS DECIDED IT WASNT GOOD ENOUGH. ONE STORMED OUT, TOSSING HERS IN THE GARBAGE IN FRONT OF THE SPONSORS! ugh.
They complained halfway down the street. Some of them didn't get a water bottle, and were complaining that they were thirsty (they were so busy complaining, that they didn't see the table with the waters on it).
Then, they asked "Miz Rayawwwwna, wha's wrong witchu?"
"I cannot believe how yall just acted in there. I am embarrassed and cannot believe how ingrateful you all just showed yourselves to be. Just for future reference, if you all do not like the kinds of trips we go on, or the services we provide, you don't have to come or participate."
Yeah. I said it. I let loose my personal feelings on them. I even told one girl that if my kids would have acted like that, they would have gotten a public beating.
That was me. At about 5:30 this afternoon.
I am not at all proud of my attitude with them. And when I see them again on Monday (we dont have program tomorrow or Friday) I will have to give a public apology, for being upset and taking it out on them.
Except for a few that I truly was tuning out (for constant complaining) the bus ride back to the recreation center was pleasant. But my attitude had not changed.
I never said I was perfect. I am human. I try to do my best to do what is well and good, and what is expected of a person in my position, but I foul up just like the next person. Had we have been in our classroom, I would have been able to "take a moment" (excusing myself from the classroom to get my feelings together) but in this case, I could not. I took it out on them instead.
I am not infallible. I am a work in progress...I need a hard hat and caution tape. Bear with me, please.