As a public school teacher, I consider myself to be very fortunate. Not because I work cushy hours (I don’t – 6:30 AM to 4:30 PM is a long day especially on the weekends because I’m revising or editing or trying to improve my kids’ writing) or because the taxpayers fund my retirement (I contribute 17.4% of my paycheck every cycle to my own retirement) or because my healthcare is subsidized (you’ve got me on that one). Nope . . . as a public school teacher, I’m fortunate to work in a district that values technology. We’ve always found ways to encourage kids to use technology to the best of their ability including having a television production studio cobbled out of a small corner of our library. This group of seventh and eighth graders show up to school bright and early, presenting their classmates the weather and general announcements, all while learning valuable skills they can either choose to use later on or file away as a pleasant memory during that “awkward phase” of their lives.
Every year, this group heads into New York City to observe a television show being shot so that they can see how the pros do it and compare it to their own studio. Their adviser, who’s also there bright and early every morning BTW, has invited me for the past five or so years, partially because I know my way around the City and partially because he knows I get a kick out of the kids standing in the middle of the sidewalk gawking at the skyscrapers while the rest of the Big Apple pushes past them (relax, New Yorkers . . . I quickly urge them to move toward the buildings so that they aren’t blocking the sidewalks).
Unfortunately, the show we have always viewed in the past was Martha, which was canceled last year, so we had to make alternate plans. Here’s the itinerary: arrive at school for a 4:30 AM departure, grab a cup of Starbucks in the City, stand outside the Good Morning America studios, look peppy and happy while freezing your bum off,
go take a tour of the studios, visit Toys R Us in Times Square, shoot some video in Times Square, sneak away with two other chaperones for some cupcakes at the Magnolia Bakery, grab lunch at McDonald’s, do some shopping at the NBC store, tour Rockefeller center (oh, my . . . it was Tree Lighting Day!), watch the Christmas Spectacular at Radio City Music Center, arrive home at 6:30 PM. Easy day – minus the bitter cold.
But I’d do it all again. It was a wonderful way to spend November 28: good friends, awesome students, and the sights that only New York City can provide. Now go see how Laura spent her day!
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