Spring… the time of year when teachers often take classes on field trips.
Imagine a field trip where the pupil teacher ratio is 1:1. Now imagine that there are only 4 students, all girls and that they’re in their late teens! I’m sure my Canadian colleagues who are busy herding groups of 20 or more children through museums, historic sites and other educational venues would have seriously envied us today!
This afternoon’s Class A field trip was a "western picnic" partially planned by the girls themselves. We rode the bus to beautiful Children’s Park. I’m not sure why it’s called that. It was occupied mainly by seniors including some in wheelchairs who appeared to be on outings from a nearby care centre, and other than a small playground/amusement park area in one corner, there wasn’t anything specific to appeal to children. It was, however, a lovely spot for a picnic.
In addition to teaching them English, we’re also trying to introduce our students who plan to study abroad to western culture so our menu didn’t include any Chinese food. Instead, we ate sandwiches, potato chips, cookies and miniature chocolate bars. If we could have, we would have introduced them to s’mores but even Carrefour, the French department store that carries some import foods, didn’t have the ingredients nor did we have anywhere to roast the marshmallows.
After lunch, we had a photo scavenger hunt. Each student/teacher partnership had eleven items to find and photograph. The list was, of course, in English. Finding "something fuzzy" is a challenge if you don’t know what the word fuzzy means! I explained to my partner that it meant soft, like an animal’s fur and we set off to see if we could find the cute little puppy that had passed by while we were eating. It was nowhere to be found and I was very proud of Sheila when she spotted the poplar fuzz gathered along the edge of the sidewalk and asked, "Is that fuzzy?" We were the last to return to the starting point with our list completed but we were declared the winners because our pictures were the best! Yay!
Next came a word game. Each of us was shown a word but one person’s was different from everyone else’s. Without giving away it away, we had to take turns saying simple sentences about the word until we could guess whose was different. With word pairs like shampoo and conditioner, bread and cake, and orange and tangerine, it was tricky and the girls had to think hard to come up with good sentences. There was lots of laughter and good-natured bantering and though the senior ladies sitting near us had no idea what we were saying, they clearly enjoyed watching the girls’ enthusiasm.
Yes, this was definitely the most relaxing field trip I’ve ever been on!