Anyway, my new principal doesn’t seem to have this same issue, so, we are going on a field trip on Jan. 26. This one is special, because we are going to meet our pen pals, the Wilmington University Women’s Basketball team! Go Wildcats!
One day I was reading the
competition’s other district’s newsletter. I saw an article about a trip they had taken to watch the UD team, who were their pen pals, play basketball. And as one who is not shy about using others’ great ideas, I got in touch with two universities near my school and made a request for pen pals. I also got in touch with one of my teacher friends in that particular district, and she gave me the emails of the teachers who had set it up.The Wilmington University asst. coach got in touch with me, and as they say, the rest is history!
We almost didn’t get there. I didn’t get the Target grant I applied for, and I thought this field trip had fouled out. But, the PTA is paying for the bus, and Wilmington University is going to feed us. My kids are creating posters with catchy slogans to hold up at the game. We are studying their stats. They are writing a response to the last letters they received from the Wildcat women, and presenting them to their pen pals, in person. And let’s not forget what we will do with the pictures and videos we’ll take while we are there! (Art, Writing, Math, cross-curricular, I’d say.) Man, we are pumped!
What happened to field trips? Why do some administrators think 2 or 3 field trips a year (and 20 min of recess) are going to make a difference in whether these kids pass those tests? What happened to exposing our students to the world around them, letting them experience life outside the classroom? Using a trip to supplement that great story you’re reading, or enhance a SS or science unit? When I taught in New York, we would jump on the subway with 25-30 kids in a NY minute!
The term “Keeping it real” is played out now, I know. But field trips do just that. They keep it real. They give kids the opportunity to experience life “for real.” Some of these kids do not have the chance to see outside their neighborhoods. Field trips give them that chance. I have nothing against virtual field trips, as a matter of fact, I have taken my class on a few myself. But if I had a choice of the Franklin Institute online and piling my kids on a bus to Franklin Institute, the bus trip, with all the noise, bumps, and mishaps, trumps a virtual field trip any day!
When my kids look at some of the places our International friends (Quadblogging) go, they question why they can’t go on trips like that. Who wouldn’t want to go to a Science camp or some of the other cool places our Quad friends travel to? I can’t blame them for making the comparison.
Yes, this trip is after school , it will be three hours long, I will probably be exhausted the next day, (No school for the students), but you know what? It will be worth it when they meet their pen pals, stuff their faces, wave their posters, and cheer their lungs out! Field trips are so cool!