Sunday, August 7, 2011

Bye Purple Room, Hello New Jersey

At our final "meeting" in the Purple Room, the students offered their most cherished moments of Summer Camp as I recorded their words on chart paper. My personal favorite Purple Room moment was probably this final meeting; listening to the little ones remember the small things about our six week camp felt so special as a first time "teacher." I especially liked the little stinker who responded "Everything" because he just couldn't pick one thing that could be his "favoritist."
Some close runners-up for favorite Summer Camp memory:

1. Giving the children special treats, and more specifically, their reactions...

On getting surprise hot dogs for lunch: "This is the best day ever!! I haven't had a hot dog this good in years!" 
And I believe it too. He's only had five years to try hot dogs, so I bet this one was pretty dang good.

On replacing Quiet Rest Time with a Dr. Seuss movie: "What? No Quiet Rest? YOU MEAN WE CAN REALLY SIT WHERE WE WANT? I CAN'T BELIEVE THIS IS HAPPENING!!!"

During our Pizza Party: "Ms Palensis you're my favorite teacher ever ever ever. You know why? Because you look like a princess and you gave us pizza."
Aw shucks. Believe it or not, replace "teacher" with "girlfriend" and I've heard that exact same sentence from my boyfriend. 

2. Cleaning up accidents (some not so accidental... can you say attention deprivation?), examining behinds ("Excuse me teacher my butt feels raaashy"), diagnosing minor pain as discomforts ("My penis hurts." Um, why do you think that hurts? "From walkin'." We only have two more minutes left, I'm sorry the lining in your Superman bathing suit does not protect against chaffing but you will survive.) 
...OH wait, these aren't my favorite things about Camp. Sorry. I'm just scarred for life. 

3. Pool Days. Because over the course of 6 weeks we got 8 children (all aged 5 or 6) to take the swim test. 6 out of those 8 had never been in water over their head, ever. It felt good to be a friend to play with and a coach to learn from at the pool. The parents really appreciated it too, which was nice. 

Overall I have so much to be thankful for after these six weeks. I'll never forget my first "classroom." Throughout the duration of camp I came across countless challenges and frustrations, but all were outweighed with smiles and happy memories :) I miss those kids already. 

Now I'm home, with little to do but reminisce on summer camp and relax. I think six weeks of chasing kids around a playground have caught up with me - I've only been home for a day and a half and I've already taken three naps. I half-heartedly partied at the annual block party last night, struggled through my first TRX workout in over six weeks this morning, and have been pleasently unproductive since. You ever get that feeling where you just don't want to do anything? Yeah, that was today. And probably the next two weeks until I start my next teaching adventure: Student Teaching (dun dun dun) Sixth Graders at Hollywood Elementary School. 

Until then...

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