Operation Beijing and Apple Orchards

I very seldom write about my school as I don’t feel it is fair to discuss work on a public blog without the people I would write about knowing that I was writing about them. Of course, as no one at work is able to read the blog because of the great China firewall, I should probably feel a bit different but I don’t. But I am bending the rules tonight as my life has become obsessed with Operation Beijing.

Let me back up a little. For the past two years the Year Five (Grade Four) students at our school have been given the opportunity to do travel field study in Hong Kong. Last year when the idea was presented to us I jumped on it and began to plan our trip. After hours and hours of planning, meetings and organization four teachers took 27 kids to Hong Kong from Beijing for 3 days. Let me tell you, for a teacher who two years before had considered a trip to the Toronto Zoo with two Grade 2 classes a bit stressful, it was quite a leap to take responsibility for planning a school trip to Hong Kong.

We had a great time but I don’t ever remember being so tired or walking so much. When we arrived back I made the decision that if we did that trip again I wanted to stay home a run the “mother ship”. That is exactly what I have done.

As I am writing this, 41 students and 6 teachers are in Hong Kong investigating the geographical aspects of the area as well as visiting a number of special sites. I am so glad I am not there. That does not mean I am not busy though – because I am in charge of “the students who could not go on the trip” or as I named them “Operation Beijing”.

We are having a great time exploring different aspects of history and geography in and around Beijing – we even have our own baseball caps with our slogan on it. Tomorrow we are off to the Beijing Planetarium and Friday we are going to a restaurant to eat Dim Sum. I am enjoying spending time with students from other classes and getting to know them. We are building bridges and group dynamics and it is so cool to be part of something like that.

At the same time I am doing this I am completing my application for grad school which is due on the 29th, taking a course online for interactive whiteboards and writing new teaching units for the rest of the school year. YIKES!!!!!!

OK, this is not the most exciting post but I stopped and ate a couple of pieces of pizza and watched a documentary on Sandra Bullock – must have taken away my focus.

Well, back to the application and watching reruns of CSI on my mini DVD player. That’s life!!!!!

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