“The difference between school and life? In school, you’re taught a lesson then given a test. In life, you’re given a test that teaches you a lesson.” – Tom Bodett
No force on earth is as loud as a bus full of amped up 2nd graders.
Every year I block off a day and attend a class trip with each of my kids.
It’s a fantastic experience.
It’s fascinating to see your kids interact with their classmates.
Even at 8 years old, they form their own groups.
Strong personalities are apparent.
My school days may be over, but the lessons keep coming.
1) Attitude Is Everything.
The day started with a challenge.
The school’s morning announcements echoed over the loudspeaker.
The speaker ended with this quote:
“Make it a great day or not, the choice is yours.”
This caught me off guard. It took my attitude to another place.
I decided on the spot, my CHOICE was to have an awesome day with my son.
2) Greet People By Name
Connecting comes more natural when you are on a first name basis.
There was a REMARKABLE activity that everyone did in the classroom before we boarded the bus.
We formed a circle.
Each person threw a stuffed animal to someone. We had to look that person in the eye and greet them by name.
The person catching the object had to do they same.
Amazing how this simple activity brought a feeling of connection to the group for the entire day.
3) Be on time.
Being on time shows respect. Being late is rude.
School bells, museum tours, & the real world do not wait.
Show up early in life. You will separate yourself from the crowd.
4) Be Present in the Moment
An adult can teach an 8 year old how to tie their shoe.
An 8 year old can teach an adult how to live in the moment.
An 8 year old’s focus is now. 100% of their attention is on what’s in front of them.
Maya Angelou wrote, “Be present in all things.”
I would have been missed my favorite moment of the trip if I was not paying attention.
A group of kids were waiting for a tour to start. They started to play a game.
Off to the side a new student, who joined the class a few weeks ago, was standing alone.
The teacher casually walked by and whispered into the ear of one of the students leading the game.
The little leader then walked over to the new student and lead him into the middle of the game.
The new student smiled from ear to ear.
That scene alone made the trip worth attending.
5) You are NOT Too Busy
I am a firm believer that we overestimate how busy we are.
We underestimate how UNFOCUSED we are.
My life works best when I FOCUS and allocate my time to my 3 most important priorities:
This day was all about spending quality time with my 8 year old.
10 years from now, there will still be customer meetings, conference calls, and endless emails to fill the day.
There will not be a 2nd grader who wants to spend the day with me on his class trip.
Thinking your education is over is AVERAGE.
Embracing what you can learn from a 2nd Grader is REMARKABLE.
– Joe Ciccarone