Friday, November 21, 2008

Neighborhood Walks

Yesterday was our first neighborhood walk. We explored the neighborhood around our school, just down to the train station. Each group took inventory of some aspect of a neighborhood: transportation, green spaces, public art, infrastructure, buildings. I am in charge of the transportation group (so I can brainwash them about alternative forms of transportation and why driving is bad, I suppose).

We left school equipped with clipboard and pencils. On their clipboards was a list of things to tally: bus stops, buses, trains, train stations, cars, people walking, bikes, bike paths, bike racks. We forgot to put motorcycles on the list, but we saw them too.

What I hadn't expected was the excitement this endeavor would generate. We exited the school building, walked down two steps, and my 8 kids started to exclaim, "A car! I see a car!" "Look! There's a person walking!" I hadn't anticipated that we would start counting that soon, but they were unstoppable. Their papers quickly filled with tally marks (some more accurately than others, I might add). As we continued toward the train station, they continued to call out every time they saw something on the list. Every city bus was cause for joy, every person walking was met with elation. We didn't see any bike racks for awhile, so when we came to our first (we counted 7 in all), they swarmed and climbed around it as if they were opening their presents on Christmas morning.

Needless to say, it was a terrific afternoon. When your main job is to slightly temper the boisterous exuberance of a group of children who are enthralled by their assignment -- just enough so that they don't run in front of a passing bus -- it is a good day of teaching.


  1. I definitely think one of your tags for this post should be the I love my job one.

    That sounds like an amazing afternoon. ♥