March 24, 2015
Field Trips Freak Me Out!
Today we had a field trip and I realized that not everyone loves them as much as the students! I am a (bit of a) control freak, which is funny, because it might not be obvious at first. Field trips stress me because of the details. I like to have all my permission slips returned quickly. I like to have too many parents volunteer to chaperone so that we can add more on if plans change. I like to have my students well prepared so that they can get as much from the trip as possible. I like to leave on time so that we can get back because the being out and about stresses me, because you never know what could happen.
Some of my students are currently writing their own versions of Scaredy Squirrel and today I saw myself in that character. I was all prepared- permission slips, parents, students. The kids came back from a snack and used the toilet and then we were off. We boarded the bus and then waited, as we were going with another class. Well, we waited and waited and the other class finally came on board and we were off. Sometimes this would make me cranky, but today I was nice and calm.We were going close by, so after a few minutes we were at our destination. After walking the precarious path and crossing the small river, we were at the Klang River Gates. We were there as part of World Water Monitoring Day and the students were conducting various tests in small groups. I did not have a group so that I could help out all five groups from my class and troubleshoot as needed. I helped locate materials, redirected a few students, took one to the outhouse, helped a few cope with mosquito bites, and snapped a few pictures. When we were close to finished with all of our planned activities I had scrap paper for early finishers to sketch or write on. I checked in with the other teacher and her class was nearly ready to go as well. After cleaning up the site we gathered our materials and headed back to the bus. When we reached school I sighed deeply- all students were back safe and sound. Later one realized he left his hat on the bus and another dropped a test tube, but, all in all, the experience was what every field trip should be- a day filled with fun and learning. The parents sure helped, as they were all actively engaged. The students all were great- working cooperatively and focusing on the task at hand while still having plenty of fun. I can’t help but think that the trip would not have gone off so easily if I were not a bit freaked out at the outset. Like Scaredy Squirrel, I saw that sometimes being prepared is the best way to enjoy new experiences.