South Carolina Teacher
Whether you teach Math, Science, English, or Art field trips are the best way to connect the lessons in the classroom with real-life experiences. As Benjamin Franklin once said, “Tell me and I forget. Teach me and I remember. Involve me and I learn.” The addition of field trips will give your students the opportunity to apply learned skills, engage in teamwork, and practice responsibility. A field trip can also be a once-in-a-lifetime chance for many students and any type of outing as a class encourages school pride. If you want your students to thrive then set them up for success by incorporating field trips into your curriculum.
Tactical Learning Opportunity
A field trip is a great opportunity for hands-on learning, also called Tactical learning. Tactical learning is when a student physically participates in an activity to learn instead of listening to a lecture or reading from a textbook. For example, a student is using tactical learning when they physically build a robot to understand how it works. They put the robot together to understand how each part functions instead of reading about how robots work or listening to an Engineer give a verbal explanation of its functions.
There are many benefits to tactical learning. It is an excellent way to encourage problem-solving skills and critical thinking. Going to a plant to help assemble robots allows students to think through how each part works. Through this tactical learning, students are more engaged in the learning process. What happens when a student is fully engaged in a lesson? They retain the information better and longer. It also becomes easier to recall the information when needed.
Field trips offer a never-ending variety of venues and activities for tactical learning. You’re no longer limited to the four walls of your classroom. Go on a field trip and give your students the opportunity to really get in there and work with their hands!
Teamwork makes the dream work! How many times have we heard that line? Whatever team you’re working on the goal is easier to achieve when we all work together.
Life can be challenging. Whether you’re looking at family life or work life, teamwork makes the load lighter for everyone. Giving students as much practice with teamwork as possible will set them up for success. Taking students on a field trip, whether the priority is to focus on team building or for a lesson in history, gives opportunities for them to work together and develop those important skills.
By the way, if you do happen to plan a field trip for team building there are tons of great companies with the sole mission to teach groups how to be a team. These companies encourage cooperation with each other to achieve a common goal. For example, a ropes course or white water rafting are a couple of fun ideas…just don’t forget the permission slips!
There is always a certain amount of responsibility that a student must take when attending a field trip. Whether it’s remembering to mind their manners, keeping track of their money, or taking notes throughout the trip responsibility is unavoidable. This is awesome because they’re learning a life skill that will help your students not only in the classroom but outside of it too.
Maybe you plan a field trip to an amusement park to teach your students how a roller coaster works and after the lesson students are allowed to enjoy the park. What fun! But with this privilege comes necessary responsibility. Students will need to be self-directed and self-aware. This will also help them fine-tune their manners, work on time management and learn financial responsibility with their money.
The more practice students have to be responsible the better. So, plan a field trip to help them learn this life skill. After all, being responsible is another step towards their success.
As teachers, many of us have had our heartstrings pulled by a student that is less fortunate than others. Whether you teach in a poorer area or have a student whose family is struggling. Field trips are a wonderful way to give those students a great trip they may not otherwise experience. Of course, with cost being an issue for some students it is important to offer fundraising opportunities.
Perhaps money is not the issue. Maybe a student’s parents have a career that won’t allow for time off to take family trips. Some students have elderly parents or parents with disabilities. These are just more reasons to incorporate a field trip or two into your curriculum. Education beyond the classroom can have amazing and long-lasting effects.
For example, a student may never know how much they love working with numbers until they get behind the scene action at a Bank. Maybe a student never realized how much they love singing or acting until they experience going to a play. Field trips can give a student passion for things they never dreamed about. Give your students that opportunity to step out onto a new path they never knew existed.
Let’s show our school pride! Anytime a class goes somewhere there is an opportunity to show pride through apparel and chants, but most importantly, through student behavior. Merchants and community members love to see well-behaved young people. Good behavior is always memorable and can lead to invitations to return.
Wearing school colors and even images of the school mascot are great ways to show pride. This will also help business owners and others remember you. It’s hard to forget a group of people wearing all green clothing with an alligator head on the backs of their shirts! So, LET’S GO FIELD TRIPS! LET’S GO!
When you have an opportunity to give your students a hands-on experience take it. Taking your students on a field trip will give you the enjoyment of seeing them work together as a team and you’ll feel good watching them taking on some responsibility. For any student that could use an eye-opening and unique experience field trips are your chance to make a lasting impression. So, take pride in your students as they show pride in their school and in each other. Remember, nothing is lost by incorporating a field trip into your curriculum and so much is gained.
So, I’m going ‘out on a limb’ here. Hopefully a parent of my previous students does not read this article. However, with that being said none of my students were harmed or were in any potential harm.
The Field Trip 101 checklist is to assist you in planning at a high level, and to help guide conversations to determine the particulars of the field trip, and ultimately save you and those around you time!
Maybe you aren’t adventurous, but rather, you are an entertainer. Actors, singers, and even stand-up comedians provide some much-needed entertainment for the world