The Field Trip

I remember those days. You could feel freedom energy flowing over the playground before the morning bell rang. You knew that today was going to be better than any other day of the month, or possibly year. You knew, even as a kindergartner, there was a chance for this day to change your life. You knew, there was a chance the bus ride was going to be the only good part, but that would be enough to enjoy the day.

A field trip my friends. A day of freedom...For the kids, that is.

On Monday, I went on my fourth field trip of my career as a kindergarten teacher. They generally include about 30 of the best behaved kids and it only lasts maybe four hours, travel time included. But on this particular day, we ("we" meaning me and 20 female Korean teachers) escorted 300-hundred 3, 4 and 5 year old's to a park. We left at 9:30 and got back at 4:45 in the afternoon.

The freedom energy was definitely flowing through these kids. At any given moment one would simply get up and make a run for it. From the outside, it would appear they are escaping. But most of the time they were simply chasing a pigeon, dog or plastic bag. When this happened, the token white guy, me, was asked to chase. I must have ran 30 50-yard sprints that day. Toward the end of the day, it became a game for the older kids. As much as I enjoyed running and playing (the first four times), I totally crashed around two. I kept telling the kids it was snack time so they would sit down and then I would lay on the grass next to them as they massaged my back. In Korean culture, if you ask for a massage, they start hitting you "firmly" on the back. It feels incredible when 8 kids are doing it one time.

On the bus ride back, my seat partner, 5-year-old Soo-jin, slept on my shoulder as we rode the bus home. I realized that is exactly how it should be. On field trip days kids need to feel that freedom but also need to feel that love only a teacher is a position to give.


Anyway, I made it a mission to take pics of the cutest kids at the school. I ran out of battery but I think I got enough here for you to get your fill. There are more on my Flickr page.

{Lining up outside the school before boarding the bus...Hectic.}

{She is asleep before we even leave the parking lot.}

{Little Rio. Absurdly cute.}

{So many tiny Korean people.}

{See the panic in my co-teacher's face? Haha, I like this pic.}

{His name is Doreen. I told him it was a girl's name but he refuses to change it. I admire that.}

{Aiden. Tiny body, huge head, really smart.}

{Rania, already looking like a 42-year-old Korean women.}




{Olivia, Helena and Leah. I like work because of these tiny people.}

{My life.}


{Diana, on the right, loves me. No questions asked, when I came into class, she just loved me.}

{Jamie. I love this girl for two reasons: she acts and looks like my good friend Jamie who works out here too, and whom I have known since sixth grade. But also, because she is rocking a nice snot hanger.}

{Jessica. Grumps.}

{Jun. Loves to repeat everything I say.}

{Don't know this kid but I know that haircut. It's called the, "oops! Oh well, he's only four" haircut...Man that kid behind him does not bearded teachers.}


{I named this girl myself. Mary...After my girlfriend Liz's little sister.}



{This is Soo-jin seconds before her head fell onto my shoulder.}

...get Lost my friends.


  1. This is the perfect post and like so many that you write, brings me right back to teach my kiddies in DC. I will never forget our field trips to the water parks (imagine trying to watch every child so they will not drown - talk about pressure), our trips to the museum and those perfect trips back when they are exhausted, quiet and they love you. Thanks Mark. This made my day.

  2. Amazing how your words can put me right there! Keep writing these, as every teacher of small children will buy your book! My favorite pics...Olivia, Hannah and Leah - great photography....the snot-nosed kid.....and Rania...and the best shot - the little one that fell asleep before the bus left! Thanks Marka teacha - my day is already better!

  3. This post makes my heart smile so big!!

    so awesome that you get to experience all these little people.

    keep it coming. ♥

    "Jamie" ahahahahahah so true from what I can see. (:

  4. Dude, this little Jamie acts just like 4-year-old Jamie Lee. I am sure of it!

  5. Good thing I'm at home reading this because I would have definitely had some weird looks from all the laughing I just did. I LOVE your captions. They're so perfect.

    First, when we go back to the States, if ever you want a massage like the one you got, I know 3 kids who would be very eager to pound and jump on your back. They do it to my mom all the time ;)

    Second, that haircut reminds me of the time I decided to cut Daniel's hair when he was 2. It was entirely too long and I thought it would be easy. I'm sure you know this by now, but 2-year-old's don't like to sit still. Needless to say, it ended badly, kind of like that kid.

    Thirdly, Jamie. Nothing else needs to be said.

  6. wow. i am so happy to finally match some faces to your adorable stories.

    and as for little Jamie, if only i had a photo of me when I was four with some great runny boogers adding that extra character.

    And for the "oh well hes four" haircut, my brother DEFINITELY had his share of those from his barber, aka my mom.

    you gotta post some more videos of these kids, they all look like such characters. you can produce a mini series reality show starring your kids!! that would be awesome mark.

  7. What a wonderful post. It was a treasure discovered late. I didn't realize you had a post between the "I'm gooooood" and the Picker so when I stumbled upon this, it was like finding a little golden nugget with all those sweet and very "telling" pics.

    Just absolutely great!