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The Perks of Being a Teacher

Heidi Shenk "school" "Washington DC"

Part of being a teacher means that you get to go on really awesome field trips. And our school just so happens to know how to plan a good field trip. A week ago, we spent the day in DC with all of our middle school kids. I've been to DC more times than I can count, but despite the fact that DC is only a short 45 minute drive away, most of my kids have not been to DC. They had no idea that all of the Smithsonian museums were free, that the National Mall was not a shopping mall, and that snipers like to hang out on the roof of the White House (yes, that was bit of fun and trivia for them that they were most excited about). We were dropped off along the National Mall and headed to White House first. On our way walking to the White House, the Presidential helicopter flew in, Barack Obama on board returning from Afghanistan, and landed on the White House lawn. Unfortunately, my group was not quick enough to make it there in time to President Obama get off the helicopter, but many of the other groups of students were-- truly an amazing experience for them that they will not forget.

After a stop at the White House, we headed to the Vietnam Veterans War Memorial. I wanted to take my students here because we had read several short stories in class that dealt with the Vietnam War. We actually ended up spending the most time here as my students searched for people that shared their last name and got etchings of the name as a keepsake. They were amazed with the number of names on the wall and how huge the monument was.

Next, we headed to the Lincoln Monument, counting each step as we made our way up to Abe.

Then, down to the Korean War Memorial.

Next, the World War II Memorial.
A quick rest at the Washington Monument.

And finally a stop at the Natural History Museum to end the day. 

It was a lot of walking (I certainly didn't mind) and the kids got tired quickly, but I kept pushing them to continue on so they could soak in as much as possible. Wouldn't it be awesome if every day in the classroom was like this? ;)

Have you been to our nation's capitol? What is or was your favorite thing to visit in Washington, DC?

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