Monday, February 20, 2012

Getting There is Half the Fun


Although I am away on vacation, you are with me in spirit. Follow along with my daily itinerary and snag the deal of the day that relates to it.



They say getting there is half the fun so I thought I would feature my Field Trip Packet since today is a travel day for us. Luckily we are taking to the friendly skies and not traveling via school bus.


I wrote this post just shy of a month ago and realized that I never published it. Hope y'all are doing well.
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As a first year teacher I lost my voice 4 times. FOUR!

I've lost it annually since then. The good news is that it's Saturday and I don't have to teach on mute.

The better news is that I didn't lose my voice on the day of our field trip. THAT would have been a challenge.

Oh, that's right. I haven't told you about our field trip yet. On a scale of 1 to 10 it was a 30. My jaw is still on the floor from the amazingness that was my class on the road. They truly impressed me with their behavior, their level of respect, their inquiry, and what they took away from the day. They really took advantage of the opportunity and used the world as their classroom.

It makes me want to go all Mrs. Frizzle and spend the rest of the year teaching them on a brightly colored bus as we travel around seeking knowledge.

It also inspired me to finally complete the Field Trip Organization Kit that I started last spring and to create a "How to Plan, Organize, and Execute a Flawless Field Trip" blog series to go along with it. The series will debut after the New Year.

There is a learning curve with field trips. I still get hives when I think about my first outing. For those of you are new, I began my teaching career in Florida. I actually headed south for grad school. The classes were designed for teachers and therefore didn't begin until 4 PM. I decided that I should sub or try to get a job as a classroom aide since my days were free. It was then that I discovered that unlike the northeast, teaching jobs were plentiful down there (at the time) and was immediately offered my choice of teaching assignments. I accepted a second grade classroom at a neighborhood school and started in October.

And was then told that all of the second grade classes would be going on a field trip.

The following week!!!!

If that wasn't overwhelming enough, the destination was Sea World.

I was a brand new teacher trying to muddle my way through the learning curve of classroom management within the confines of my portable, and suddenly I was forced to take 25 seven year olds that I had known for less than two weeks to a super-crowded theme park.

Let's just analyze the highlights of what went wrong:

MONEY
I wasn't organized in collecting the money. The day of the trip came and I was missing payment from four students. Since I had no way of knowing which students hadn't paid, I paid. Trips to Sea World aren't cheap and I was already sustaining myself of Kraft Mac and Cheese and Raman Noodles. I certainly didn't have any extra money lying around to sponsor students seeing Shamu.

CHAPERONES
Not everyone had cell phones at the time. Not that it mattered because, let's face it, it wouldn't have crossed my mind to ask them for their cell number anyhow. But since I didn't think to type up an organized itinerary and make my expectations clear, I ended up with a rogue chaperone who made our departure so late that we didn't get back to school until well after dismissal.

LUNCHES
I assumed that the students would be bringing their own. I found out after the kids went home the day before the trip that was not the case. We were supposed to submit a form to the cafeteria for bagged lunches. It was too late to do so at that point. And so I created an assembly line of PB and Js in my small apartment kitchen. You read that right. I packed 25 brown bag lunches. These days you can't even give kids peanut butter, much less an entire lunch, but back in the day this newbie had no choice. Lesson learned.

ETC.
I could go on and on, but I'll save the dramatic tales of chasing kids around in soaking wet clothes (Shamu splash zone anyone?), forgetting sunblock (I forgot lunches, what makes you think I would remember to coat myself in spf 50?) and getting lost (who needs a park map?).

But now, I am oh-so-experienced and I rock a field trip like a pro!

And you can too. :) Stay tuned for my Field Trip Series in January. In the meantime, check out my new Field Trip Planning Guide and Printables in my TPT Store.






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2 comments:

  1. Jodi:
    I had a challenging experience at the Natural History Museum a few years back. I think we had 70 sixth graders with us. It became an Olympic event trying to steer them in the opposite direction of the Early People exhibit--who would have guessed the figures wouldn't be wearing clothes!!!

    I am wishing you a WONDERFUL vacation.
    I have to go back to school tomorrow.
    Otherwise I just might be sitting at the window watching for the UPS man to bring my thirty-one bag!

    Enjoy the beach!

    Kim
    Finding JOY in 6th Grade

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