Jeff City Field Trip #1

Today I had my first field trip with my new school, and I LOVED it. I sit here now, absolutely exhausted, but I think I learned more on this field trip than any other one I have been on as a teacher.

We started out the day at the Capitol Building. We went up to the Whisper Gallery. The kids could whisper and hear each other across the room. It was really cool. It was a long way up (and not for those afraid of heights) and it was worth the walk!

After that, we went and had a brief tour of the building. I will admit, this was the weakest part of the field trip as the speaker had to speak softly as the kids walked through the building not being allowed to talk. Truthfully, it was a waste of 30 minutes. I'm not sure I learned anything on this point of the day, so I can only imagine what the kids gained from it.

After that, we got to see the House and Senate in action. I will say that we stayed in there longer than I would have liked, but I did learn a lot about the process, and the kids did too. The House adjourned for the day at noon and is not back in session until tomorrow at 10 (wish I could do that at my job!) so after lunch we were allowed back on the House floor, and the kids were able to participate in a mock bill and debate. It was really cool. The kids honestly learned a lot about the process, as they had to ask the Speaker for permission to talk, and so forth, just like we had seen earlier. That was one of my favorite parts of the day.

We ate lunch on the steps at the Capitol Building and it was a LOVELY day outside. The kids did fairly well eating outside on the steps, and honestly we all needed to sit for a while.

After lunch we went across the street and received a tour of the Supreme Court. This was another highlight for me. We had a tour of the building where we saw the Library and the room that looks like the room where cases are heard. (Apparently they have a room just for tours, and isn't the real room.) I have always been interested in what the Supreme Court does, and while it wasn't necessarily new information for me (Thanks, Mr. Schriener!), it was cool to see.

We ended the day at the Governor's Mansion. While it was nice, it wasn't my favorite part of the day. By this point in the day, I had a couple little people that were REALLY pushing the boundaries (They weren't assigned to my group though! My group Rocked!) so I spent more time managing behaviors than listening to the tour guide.

One very helpful thing for this whole day (Which included 2.5 hours there AND back in the bus!) was that we were on a chartered bus. That's right, we had a DVD player with TV's, a bathroom for kids to use, and comfortable seats. That REALLY helped. I can't imagine that trip in a regular school bus. (I wouldn't be surprised if we have to next year though due to budgets!) It was quieter than a regular bus, and it was a smooth ride! While it is my hope that the bus isn't what the kids remember most (Unfortunately, for some, it could be.) it did help make the trip memorable.

For my first field trip here, I sure enjoyed it and learned a lot.

Now, I have a book to read.