Saturday, November 17, 2012

The Turkey Trot

(Yet another school post...get used to it, folks. My mom asked me what I wanted for Christmas and my immediate response was "teacher stuff."

Her immediate response? "Absolutely not."

This is what moms are for.)

Anyway, last week was American Education Week. Much to my (superintendent's) chagrin, I don't really know what that means. What I do know is that it means my week is crazier than usual.

Which, if you know me, is kind of saying something.

It was great for the kids. We had parent visits, a town meeting (the whole school meets to catch up on goings-on and celebrate achievements), a kindergarten play, and Friday morning, the Turkey Trot.

The Turkey Trot is really a great thing. It's a fundraiser for muscular dystrophy, (wow, it just took me three tries to type "dystrophy"), a disease that afflicts two FWES alumni. The Turkey Trot was established in their honor, and it's a school tradition.

However, in practical terms, it means giving up your Friday morning to "trot" two miles around the neighborhood.

500 children. Just imagine with me, if you will.

The whole school, staff, PTA, and other dedicated parents gathered in the gymnasium for the Hop-a-thon, a one-minute hopping spree to kick off the Turkey Trot. Then the 5th graders file out and walk the two-mile loop. Then the 4th grade, the 3rd, and onward down (really a good plan if you consider the strides and speed of fifth graders versus kindergarteners).

Each turning point or corner of the route is manned by PTA and other parent volunteers. Parents walk with their children's classes, some for the whole trot, and others for portions. One kind parent handed me a cup of coffee along the way, and everyone was very excited.

I was about to have a stroke. Coffee was entirely unnecessary, I was so wired.

Please understand, I've worked with kids my whole life. I spent four years as a paid camp counselor, and probably four more years volunteering at VBS camps. I'm no stranger to the chaos of unbounded children. I've done field trips to Dorney Park and Phillies' games.

That being said, nothing nothing NOTHING compares to the pure and utter terror of being solely responsible for the care and well-being of 19 rambunctious second-graders, and having so little control over the situation.

Pretty sure I counted those 19 noses about 14 times.

One of my room parents was there (bless her heart) and she laughed every time she watched me whirl around, frantically checking for my students.

Good news: I didn't lose anyone!!

Bad news: I'm pretty sure I'll be sprouting some gray hairs shortly. Four or five of my boys kept "trying to get lost" and scampering ahead. And of course, with parents around, you can't exactly play mean teacher.

Other news: the only terror left is for the turkeys.