Enjoying the Break — Looking Forward to Spring Term

This is that welcome pause between terms when we catch our breath and enjoy a little more free time in our schedules. Weekend classes start again at the end of this week, on April 9 (because they’ll be taking Easter and Memorial Day weekends off). Weekday AM and PM classes start in two weeks, on April 18–19.

At orientation last Saturday, my 3B team decided to set up a listserv that we can use for sharing our class logs and other team communications. This has worked very well in the past — with a listserv, you just type in one address and the e-mail goes out to the whole team plus the volunteer coordinators. No need to type in ten separate addresses and possibly leave somebody out. For easy instructions on how to set up a listserv, check last January’s blog post, Make Team Communication Easy: Set Up a Google Group.

One of the nice things about spring term is the weather — at least we hope it will be nice. As it gets warmer and lighter, it becomes possible to think about doing class activities outside. Last summer, when it stayed light in the evening, my Advanced conversation class did a scavenger hunt in the neighborhood. The students loved it! I’ll try to do a blog post on that soon in case anyone else wants to try it.

And just a couple of weekends ago, I went with four students from my 3A class on a Saturday field trip to the Smithsonian museums. We visited both the Air and Space and the American Indian museums — the first one super-crowded, noisy and intense, the second calm and contemplative. Two students brought family members — a spouse, a young son, and an elderly mother — and everyone had a wonderful time. Several students plan to return on their own, now that they know the museums are free and open to all.

Two of my 3A students in the Museum of the American Indian.

Have you ever taken your class on a field trip? Where and when? How did you get there? What advice do you have for other teachers? LETC has a folder full of field trip ideas in the volunteer room, but it would be very helpful to know which ones have been tried and how they worked out in practice. Please, please, send me your thoughts, and I will collate them in a future blog post. If you would like to write up a description of a trip you’ve taken, I will gladly run it under your name, bringing you fame (if not fortune)!

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