My teaching partner and I accompanied our brood of 54 sixth graders to the art museum today. It is one of my favorite trips, although there is always anxiety with the thought of taking a large group of sometimes loud, sometimes lively, pre-teenagers to a quiet, orderly venue filled with “hands-off,” priceless masterpieces.
Originally, we were scheduled to go two weeks ago, but we had a delayed start the day after a snow day and missed out. The weather was infinitely better for traveling and without other classes going at the same time, we did not have to plan our day around others.
While I followed our students as they listened to the docent’s interpretation of pieces of art and their polite attempt to indulge her with their limited knowledge, I studied many artists’ works with a great deal of thought and contemplation. I t was a wonderful break from the regular school day and the students were truly on their best behavior, despite somewhat obvious signs of boredom.
As we readied ourselves to leave and thinking nothing could top this terrific morning, three of the five docents that had shared their vast knowledge and time with our group, stopped me as we left, to tell me what great kids we have. “They are so polite and I was impressed with how with the thoughtful answers they gave.” I couldn’t help but beam with pride and wondered,”Why had I thought any less?”