Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Summer Field Trippin'

Have you written scripts for your tours field trip adventures yet? I sure hope so. And if not, here's an anecdote that happened to me today, which, to me, proves the usefulness of scripted tours.

So, it's summer, which means I get calls from day cares and day camps about library field trips.

I got a call last week from a local school ESL camp that had "at most 30 kids, but probably closer to ten" who are going into 4th grade in the fall. The teacher admitted that she wasn't sure what degree of English language learning each of them were at, but they were learning about space, and needed a very short introduction to the library. I said, "sure, yeah!"

And promptly forgot about it, because I could afford to. Because I knew I was giving this field trip.

Yesterday, I saw on my calendar I was working a split shift  (since the group was coming at 9am but I'm working until 8pm) and started thinking about the books I'd pull. In case you were wondering, the 2 and a half hours between shifts today were spent getting me hopelessly, embarassingly addicted to The Glee Project. I don't even like the show Glee (Ryan Murphy can't write past a first season, which is why reality television is perfect for him). So, there's that.

How many words?
None. None words.
(Okay maybe some,
but I was gunning for the
Spinal Tap reference)
30 minutes before field trip arrives: collect about 15 books to book talk. My favorite to book talk for these groups is Robot Dreams, because it's 150 pages and has zero words. This is the book I reference, as well, when people say that "graphic novels aren't reading", because if you don't feel touched after using your comprehension skills to decode the story in these pictures, your heart has been replaced with a rusty tin can. It's a scientific fact.

15 minutes before field trip arrives: My coworker approaches the Reading Boat with egg shakers, which can only mean one thing-- preparing for story time. "I have a group coming at 9, is that cool?" I ask, assuming she's setting up early.
She says: "Um, I have a story time at 9:30."

Oops. Foiled again by the long list of events on the daily Outlook calendar, I had accidentally scheduled potentially overlapping programs.

Never fear! It is decided amongst the department, without skipping a beat, that the field trip will take place at the back corner of the department, outside the Reading Boat.

10 minutes before field trip arrives: coworkers help me rearrange the tables under the clock. I make a sign so that it looks official.
Oversized Post-its: TOTAL Lifesaver.

9AM: The field trip begins!

And what was the feedback? Well, I got a note:
"This was so perfect!! [The other teacher] and I were talking about how we can piggy-back off the things you said and the books you shared. I am so thankful you accepted our request to visit."

Not bad for zero planning, 30 minutes of set-up, and a minor snag that could've been major if I had completely thought of a brand-new field trip.