As the end of the school year draws near, our school has offered many opportunities for the students. For the last couple of years I have canoed down the Grand River with approximately 60 students. It amazes me the number of students who say they are experienced at canoeing. Interesting enough when we get out there many students who forget how to manoeuvre their boat in the water. It's fun to watch the students try to figure out how they will steer their boat in a straight line. I think many have doubled their trip distance based on the zig zag line they choose to take with their canoe.
The students at our school had many opportunities to try new things. I spent the first day canoeing and on the second day we went to Chicopee for the students' summer multi sport adventures. It was there that I was reminded that I am not 13 anymore. In my mind I should be able to still keep up with these young kids so when they went on the low ropes I tried to move from one end to the other. I successfully made it and felt I fit in with my teenage students just fine. My group then moved to the most physical and mental challenge of the week - rock climbing. Looking at it I could not understand why only half the students could manage to reach the top of the wall. I needed to try the adventure though as I encouraged all students to give everything at least one try. The group leader announced that it was now Mrs Bumstead's turn and I have to admit that my stomach was in knots. It became a test of my mental strength as I was determined to be the first teacher to reach the top. Despite the age difference I made it to the top with great encouragement from my wonderful students. I walked away with a few bragging rights and had thoughts in my head like I can still keep up with these teenagers. Later that day I went on to mountain biking and play volleyball.
My end of the year adventure continued on the third day when our school went to Bingemans swim park. We challenged the students to try everything (all 7 water slides, mini golf and the splash pad). Once again feeling vibrant and able to do anything, I did it. I climbed to the top of everyone of those slides and played a full game of golf. The students loved the fact that they see me out there however I am starting to feel the effects of my teenage life. I left the swim park with a bloody arm (not sure how?) and when I woke up on Saturday morning I was walking like I was an 80 year old women.
Oh if my students could see me now.
It is now Monday and it was a calm day at school-- thanks goodness! Tomorrow I am off to play a few frames of bowling and watch a movie. Wednesday we are off to try as many roller coaster at Wonderland that we can fit in. Thursday I will be taylor swift as we are doing air bands on stage in front of the whole school. Friday will be my day to reflect on it all-- that is if I can physically walk. I guess in my heart I am a 13 year girl but my body is telling me I am a 30 somethings lady. When people say you are so luck that you are a teacher and get the summers off, I would say that I will need the first 2 weeks to recuperate my 30 something body that has raced around like a 13 year old teenager.
Once again I love my job but at times I wonder why I do this to my self. I hope that as I age my students will continue to encourage and support my young mind.