Sunday, May 25, 2008

Useless field trips

Well, the school year is over and boy do I have some fun experiences to tell about! (I realize this hasn’t been updated since October and I will make a more concerted effort to update more often from now on.) As I’ve mentioned before, I am a School Bus Driver. This comes with many responsibilities including field trips. Most fieldtrips are for sports (baseball, football, basketball, cheerleading, tennis, etc.) but a good portion of our field trips are for absolutely no good reason. In other words, they’re useless educationally. For example:

Throughout the year, we take the kids from school to school to see a play, to view the band, to get acquainted with the school they will be attending the next year, to…etc. The list goes on endlessly and most of these fieldtrips are a bust educationally.

September sent us to a Nature Center – not a bad field trip but still a waste of a day as the center was near 1 and a half hrs away.

October saw us going to a place where they had inflatable bouncy play things. Yep-REAL education there. We also took random fieldtrips to the local pumpkin patch and to the fire station (Pre-k through grade 3). It seemed like every class NEEDED to go on these field trips.

November sent the younger elementary (K-1) to the Civic center to see “Disney Princesses On Ice” – Yep really educational!

December saw us taking the 7th grade middle school to the Civic center to see “The Worlds Greatest Christmas Pageant” – We only got to see part of the first act and then the second act. An hour and a half of driving each way and a full day out of school to see… THIS?! Where’s the logic or the educational value?

December also saw us taking the kids to the movie theater to see Mr. Magorium’s Wonder Emporium. – Yet another fine educational experience. This one included popcorn and soda. When I asked what the educational value was to one of the teachers, she simply stated “Just because.”

February – Roller Skate Rink. Another “just because”. This was 6th grade middle school.

February – Pre-k to the new hospital – definitely educational but again something that wastes time.

April – Trip to an in-town nature trail… with Pre-k. (30 minutes) Then we went to a local playground for an hour and a half. Again the nature trail was not a bad thing to do, but with PRE-K?!?! Their teacher stated on the bus to them “We’re going to look for nature”. I wasn’t aware nature was missing?!?!

April also saw us taking the 8th grade middle school to a Federal Correction Institution. Yeah, we’re showing them their future home.
May was filled with useless fieldtrips as most of them were based off of “How much time can we use up just so we don’t have to teach.” We took grade 1 to the riverboat where they proceeded to run and scream all over the boat. The teacher had no control. Oh and then they went to a candy store. Again EDUCATIONAL VALUE? We also went to a minor league baseball game with the special education students. Apparently for no good reason at all. We also took trips to the bowling alley, and to the skating rink again (this time was pre-k through 5)

So why am I pointing out these field trips? Because our test scores are tanking and people are scratching their heads wondering why? I understand maybe one fun field trip per class, but I am only one bus driver in a fleet of 70 some odd people and each person has had their share of “stupid” field trips. How are taking stupid field trips going to help our kids get a leg up in life? If more time were spent on education in the classroom, the better our test scores would be.

Educationally concerned,
The Bus Driver


Anonymous said...

And thank you for pointing those out.

"Ms. Cornelius" said...

One of my very dearest of pet peeves!!

Crimson Wife said...

Wow, these are certainly different from the field trips I remember taking during elementary school. We used to go to museums, "living history" attractions like Plimoth Plantation and Old Sturbridge Village, and fine arts performances like the symphony.

The one "fluffy" field trip I remember taking was the annual end-of-the-year pool party and BBQ, but that was always during the last few days of school in June.

Melissa B. said...

Aren't you glad the school year is over? If there's a person in Education who's busier than a teacher, it's certainly you! Now that you have more time on your hands, please consider contributing to Take Another Look Thursday. It’s a way we teachers can stay on our toes this summer!