Last week I had the incredible opportunity of being a chaperone for my kids’ school band trip to Disney World. While I was a little apprehensive about being in charge of a group of kids, the trip could not have gone any smoother. We had a great group and it was fun hang out with them.
I knew that this trip would not be like a normal vacation. I was on someone else’s time schedule, and I was okay with that. Even though my schedule was not my own, I still had time to do a couple of things I wanted to do.
I learned so many things while being a chaperone, but the things I learned most were related to time management.
I thought you might benefit from what I’ve learned. These principles can help in most any situation.
1. To be early is to be on time. To be on time is to be late.
Our band director is a stickler for discipline. She has taught the kids so much about the importance of being disciplined in their actions. And, it has paid off in big ways.
One of the things she instills in them is to learn how to be on time. For her, being on time means you are there before the official time deadline. Because we had almost 70 kids to round up and get to various places, it was important that everyone be ready to go at the appointed time.
I love this lesson. My kids are learning that it is polite to show up when you say you will. If they are constantly late for appointments, that can have a negative impact on their lives. I’m glad they are learning this not only at home but at school, too.
2. Sometimes a slower pace is okay.
The group I helped to chaperone was made up mostly of 10th-12th graders. They have outgrown the need to run wherever they go and were content to take it easy. I joked that they were the “grandma and grandpa” group because we constantly had to prod them to get moving.
While that could have been a source of frustration for me, I chose to look at it as an opportunity to slow down and just enjoy the time. Too often I’m rushing from one thing to another to get the ultimate experience.
I miss too much when I’m in a hurry. Slowing down the pace during this trip made the time much more enjoyable.
3. Interrupted plans can be a blessing in disguise.
The one hiccup my family experienced on this trip was my son getting sick. We thought he might have strep throat or the flu, but it turns out he was just exhausted and dehydrated. After having the chance to sleep 10 hours straight, he felt much better.
Because he was sick, I had to stay at the hotel with him while the rest of the band went to Animal Kingdom. I was sad we were missing that park, but after I, too, got to have some rest, I was thankful for the down time. It made it so much easier to go to the Magic Kingdom later that evening.
I’m learning that interruptions are not always a bad thing. Sometimes it’s God’s way of getting us to slow down or take notice of something He deems important.
I am so glad I got to go on this trip. I loved the one-on-one time with my son, and my daughter had a fun time with her group. I had so much fun as a chaperone, I’m ready to do it again!
What time management lessons have you learned from being in a group?