Today was our field trip to the library. I am not a believer in the ropes that kids hold as you lead them to the place you are going. I think people tend to have an unreal sense of security with them as well as the fact that you are not teaching kids anything.
My approach is to create a sandwich. You know, they have bread on the outside (adults) and good stuff on the inside (kids). No open face sandwiches because we don’t want any of the good stuff to drip out. Once I have explained this to the kids, I like to ask them what they are in the sandwich. Today we had a noodle, ice cream, macaroni and cheese, carrot, cheese, meatball, lettuce, and extra ice cream sandwich.
The benefit of this course is that if someone dashes ahead, I just shout out, “where’s the bread”. It is such an unusual thing to say, the kids immediately stop and look back at me. Then they head back and behind me.
I have explained to them that the reason they have to wait for my okay before crossing the street is that drivers can’t see them because the car is in the way, but they can see me, and I can make sure no one is headed their way. I am not telling them they are not capable. I am telling them drivers can’t see them no matter what they do.
Another benefit is that kids don’t have to go the same speed. In our class, we have fast kids, slow kids, and kids in between. Why should they all have to change their pace to match everyone else. The kids that need to go fast are told to run between the bread. I have never had a runner turn this offer down!
I also have a story for them that keeps them off of the grass and on the sidewalk, but I’ll save that for another time. My thanks to Bevin, Trisha and Kristen for their help on the walk and through the day!