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Eric Baylin's
Songs to Brighten
A Teacher's Day


Middle School field trips are a phenomenon unto themselves -- as are middle schoolers, for that matter. I'm thinking especially of eighth graders and the requisite eighth grade trips, which I chaperoned for several years. Those trips were wonderful learning opportunities for everyone -- including the chaperones.

Middle School Field Trips

(Sung to the tune of
Did You Ever See a Lassie?)

About the Lyricist

Eric Baylin has been a teacher for 38 years, working with a variety of age levels in both public and private schools in New York and North Carolina. He currently works at Packer Collegiate Institute in Brooklyn, New York, a K-12 independent school established in 1854. In addition to teaching art and photography to middle- and high-school students, Eric coordinates a program of collaborative faculty study groups in Packer's professional development program.

The fact is, some of us are just better suited than others to chaperone field trips. This really is a job for young teachers. (I pleaded the over-50 case for several years.) I always tried to make the best of them, however, and to find some redeeming features in them. Inevitably, there would be some great moments -- one of which was always the bus pulling back into school.

Did you ever chaperone on a middle-school field trip,
And especially on an overnight far from the school?
First comes the bus ride -- with luggage that's too wide,
And adolescent movies that they think are cool.

Well, you brought along a good book; you think that you'll read it,
But the noise and all the laughter are hard to ignore.
Then one kid gets nauseous, and not very cautious,
And throws up all his chips, candy, soda, and more.

Well, you finally do arrive at your end destination,
And the bus looks like a cyclone has blown through the door.
You can't quite believe it, and won't let them leave it,
'Til every piece of popcorn is cleaned off the floor.

Once you're finally in the hotel, the fun's just beginning.
They check into their bedrooms that won't stay clean long.
They start calling room service; you're getting quite nervous;
How will you survive this? You have to be strong.

You will have them every minute for twenty-four hours.
These will be some of the longest days you've ever known.
The nights at the hotel, they stay up, and no telling
If they ever sleep, or just talk on their phones.

In the day, you ride a subway to see a museum.
When you get there, you are missing a student or two.
You have quite a big scare -- the teacher's great nightmare,
You've lost somebody's children; the blame is on you.

Well, it turns out they were hiding; they thought it was funny.
A middle schooler's humor -- not funny to you.
It's only been one day, and hardly a fun day,
There's still another night -- and a bus ride home too.

Well, the trip is finally over; the bus gets to school late.
The parents are so happy their kids had a blast.
The trip nearly sank you, and no one says thank you.
You swear to all your colleagues this trip was your last!

Song lyrics Copyright© 2006 Eric Baylin