After a hellish first and second period today, we had our field trip to the Walters Museum. The kids were very difficult to manage at the beginning of the trip but once we got on the buses and to the museum things went well. We broke them up into groups of nine and I ended up with one current student, two 7th graders I taught last year, and some kids who often come to my room asking if they can be in my class but whom I've never actually taught.
For the first time in a while I got some joy out of kids. We toured the museum with a groovy docent who was a 50-something hottie and former English teacher. She was a bit too Romper-Roomy, but did a good job keeping their attention and moving quickly through Rome, Greece, Egypt, and Sumeria. I was quite impressed by the recitation of the Set/Osiris/Isis/Horus story by one of the kids I don't teach, and I was amused when one of the students responded "Baltimore" when the docent asked "which ancient country do you think conquered Greece?"
The tour finished with a half-hour art project in the studio. The kids got to create their own mythic creature with an attribute, and the museum had an excellent teacher and a great supply of art and craft materials. I got a moment to name-drop Cha and of course the Walters staff know my lovely and busy wife, whose name "ring out" in Arts Education circles state-wide.
At the end of the trip we congregated in the lobby at Charles Street and the kids went haywire. A couple of female students and a Japanese guy from MICA got caught in the swarm but seemed to really enjoy the bustle and smack-talk. One of them started sketching furiously and some of my homeroom kids were yelling "stay still Mr. G!" and apparently she was sketching me as I stood on the steps glowering and calling out names and she was letting them watch her do the drawing. A couple appalled security guards tried to bottle up the kids and quiet them down, but that ain't gonna happen. I remembered the day several police officers were to give a presentation at the Book and we had to cancel it because the police couldn't get the 8th graders to shut up and after 35 minutes they just left the auditorium. That's how City kids roll.