By: Amy Davis, Middle School Principal
Many, many years ago, I think it was either my second or third year at LPS, I was one of two people in charge of planning a whole middle school field trip to George’s Island. Marla and I were so excited to take the students on such a big trip and could not wait to see all the hands on experiential learning that this trip could provide our students and the smiles. We had to convince the administration to allow us to take all these students on such a big trip that involved multiple forms of transportation. In the end our persuasive skills prevailed. Marla and I were like “We’ve got this,” “It won’t be a problem.” Once we all arrived on the island we split up into two guided tours, one led by me, one led by Marla. The students were safe, engaged, listening and having fun - things were going so well! And then I had my moment of panic. Our guide stopped our group and explained that we needed to walk through a pitch black tunnel. They instructed all the students to line up against the wall and put their hand on the shoulder of the person in front of them. “You won’t be able to see anything but will be guided by holding the shoulder of the person in front of you.”
...A student will for sure freak out in the tunnel
...I quickly pulled out my walkie talkie (yes, pre-cell phone) and tried to reach Marla to problem solve our way out of what was surely going to be a nightmare and we for sure would never be able to go on another field trip EVER again.
...Why is she not responding to me?
---and before I knew it I think I heard the guide say to me “you will bring up the rear” and then off he led the group.
...more panicked walkie talkie attempts but this ship had sailed and I better get on it.
What was so amazing, fantastic and thrilling is that WE DID IT! Both groups!
If you had told us before the trip, “All your students will blindly have to walk through a pitch black tunnel and trust the person in front of them to guide them” we would have said, “Nope, we need to think about a work around.” We are so glad we did not know because we all learned something new that day... and clearly we didn’t need the work around.
Fast forward to educating through this pandemic. If you had told me before all this started that our students would need to be wearing masking in school all day, hand sanitizing at every turn, would need to social distance at all times, would have to learn to manage technology in all new ways and would be required to be independent in so many more aspects of of their social, emotional and academic learning I would have similarly thought, “No way, we will need a work around.”
It feels great to succeed and even more amazing, fantastic and thrilling that WE DID IT! This year learning has come in so many forms and I am so proud of how hard everyone has worked. Turns out, our students are way more resilient than we give them credit for and when given the opportunity they rise to the challenge.