Tuesday, May 22, 2012

It's A Zoo Out There...

We have a program here which 'buddies' up our sixth grade students with our kindergartners (and 5th with 1st, & 4th with 2nd).  We feel the small time investment through the year helps our building climate, reduces bullying issues, and helps a little with bus behavior.

At the end of each school year, the 6th graders and kindergartners go on a combined field trip to the local city zoo.  Obviously there are adult chaperons, but 6th graders are paired with their kindergarten buddies as they explore the zoo.

I stay far away from this one.  The zoo is a major pain in the ass.  It's never been below 175 degrees on any visit I've made, and you couldn't fit the average crowd into Madison Square Garden.  I have my own small kids, so I'm fully aware what a trip to the zoo entails:  lots of walking and pulling reluctant little people along, lots of requests for things you don't have to come to the zoo for (ice cream, time on play ground, toys, hot dogs), little interest in animals.  Even if you wanted to see the animals, because there are seemingly millions of unattended children on the premises, good luck getting up to any of the cages or tanks.  Beyond the elephants, or perhaps a stray pigeon, don't get your hopes up.   

The bus pulled up in front of the school to mark the end of this year's zoo trip.  As the students began pouring out of the door of the bus, I addressed the first few students.

"Hey gang, how'd the trip go?  You guys have fun?"

The first student looked at me, almost agitated, and yelled, "I am never having kids!"

His friend who was also standing there added, "Yeah, me either.  But if I do, you can bet I will never take them to the zoo."

I wish I would have learned these things in 6th grade.  :)

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