Have you ever worn your raincoat for a day at the beach? Have you ever drank hot chocolate at the beach? I have! Today, we unleashed 90 Year 4’s (third graders) on the beach of the English Channel. And even though I’m in a Year 6 class, since my host mom is a Year 4 teacher, she arranged for me to come with them as a chaperone, so that I could have fun at the beach as well. I was definitely excited to go to the beach for the day on a field trip, and the only thing that could bring me down was, well, rain. On our walk down to the beach, which was over a mile long, it started to rain. It had stopped raining by the time we arrived at the beach, so it wasn’t that bad. On the horizon, however, you could see that there was a bigger storm rolling in.
The students got a little while to play and do some science and geography work on the beach (and I got to feel the water of the English Channel for the first time). It was getting colder, darker, and very windy, but the kids didn’t seem to mind at all. They were too busy finding interesting rocks, seaweed, and even crabs along the beach. About an hour and a half after we arrived, it started to rain again. We moved the students up near the beach huts and instructed them to eat their lunch, hoping that the weather would pass, and it did soon enough. I was so cold at this point that I went to the concession stand and bought a hot chocolate to enjoy – something I never thought that I would ever want while sitting on the beach. The rain eventually stopped, and the students got a few more minutes to play on the beach while the others finished.
Things got interesting on the walk home, however. As you can probably imagine, it’s interesting enough to walk 90 children over a mile (especially with about half of the number of adults that we would take on a field trip in America) in nice weather. Add in the fact that it started “chucking down” rain – to borrow a local term – a short while into our walk, and then started to thunderstorm about halfway into our walk, with all of the students complaining about being cold and wet, that walk turns into a completely different, yet equally as interesting, experience. By the time we got back to school, all of the teachers were frazzled, all of the students were wet and soggy, and all of the fun had gone completely out the window. In fact, one of the students even said that she hated today.
Today was definitely a new and interesting experience. Before today, I had never had to wear a raincoat on the beach. I had never enjoyed a steaming hot chocolate on the beach, either. But, for the few minutes the weather was good, it was completely worth it to see all of the students being able to play and explore on the beach. And wouldn’t you know, the sun came out and the rain dried up just in time for me to walk home from school with Amy. It was so nice, in fact, that I was able to get to the post office and mail out some postcards to my classes back home.
A couple of random notes:
– I got to hold a London 2012 Olympic Torch this week! It was probably the highlight of my trip so far.
– The British accent is starting to sound pretty normal to me, which is good because it means I can understand it better, but bad because it’s kind of lost it’s novelty.
I’ll leave you with some pictures that I took at the beach today – before the weather got too bad.
Until next time,