My class and I are back, this week starting the final things: trip response, trip board, field journals, portfolios, writing collections, final blogs. The list doesn't want to end, but school does in eleven and a half days! If you'd like to see a few pictures, see my Saturday Celebration post here. We did so much in the ten days we were traveling. In this slice I want to share about this city part of the trip that mirrors others I've experienced. To save money, we nearly always stay in the center of the chosen city, where the action is, at a hostel. This time in Washington D.C. was not different, and our stay was delightful at Hostel International on 11th Street, the link here.
When I've stayed with my classes at hostels, it's filled with more learning. Students learn to navigate the building, where the hang out places are, how to use their own room keys (they stay in groups), how to share a common bathroom, how to rise, get ready and meet in the dining area for breakfast, ready for the day--all with only the help of classmates! For those who've not been on these extended trips as older students, it is probably a new experience, and a growing up one. Younger classes also go on overnights, but are given less independent time.
This hostel started breakfast at 7:30am, with a wonderful greeter named John, who asked that everyone who entered the food line give a greeting in a language that was not their native one. It was much fun, and students began to find all kinds of new ways to say good morning as they listened to others who were staying. The best part of a hostel is meeting new people, older and younger, from countries all over the world. This time there was a great, roomy kitchen where we could easily cook if we wished. Two of my colleagues served some yummy breakfast burritos on a few mornings, cooking with some of the students who wanted to help. We saw others creating their own country's breakfast food, and met students from Europe and Canada. I spoke with some people who asked about the students, complimenting them for their quiet and polite behavior. I loved seeing students sitting down to eat with new people, discovering they could have these conversations, and also that others were interested in what they were doing here in D.C., too. Along with all the other activities we did, this place truly became our home away from home, a good place to return to in the evening.
Here is one pic of the group getting ready for the day, in one of the meeting areas, and the back very-winding staircase that everyone loved!