Friday, November 10, 2006

Foenician Fieldtrip

When I decided to become a teacher I was pretty well prepared for all the behavior management and lesson planning I was going to be expected to do. Once I started special education I got a good sense of the IEP process and all the paperwork that involves.

But I didn’t know it would be close to impossible to take my students on a fieldtrip. Mind you, these are the kids who take personal field trips every day when they decide to cut class.

Form after form, bus details, lunch details, info for parents, justification for the trip, academic reasoning, lesson plan for the trip, expected follow up work for the kids after the trip.

Ok, I just want to take my kids two blocks down the street to the local park, and then to the Costco (It’s like Sam’s Club and BJ’s) another block down to get them lunch. (I am not-so-secretly appalled by their school lunches) I want to get my kids out of the classroom and outside before it gets too cold. The trip will also work as a trial run with my kids, so I can plan more field trips, academic and otherwise.

So how am I going to justify a “community walk” with my class? I am forced to get creative the “justification” inquiry of the paperwork. Otherwise known as BS.

It turns out the whole trip has to do with the Phoenicians. Who knew? We just ended a Global Studies chapter on the Phoenicians, those happy folk from Canaan who started building the first boats and trading all over the world. (They are also known for changing the alphabet from 500 and some characters to about 22.)

Well, Phoenicians had to do with trade…and Costco sells stuff. There you go.

“This fieldtrip will be an investigation into the modern form of trade in comparison with one of the first forms of international traffic introduced by the Phoenicians.”

Long story short, when I ran it by my Principal she was gasping in laughter. She made phone calls reading my creative justification to others.

But, in the end my kids get to go and have a nice afternoon out, and that makes it worth it.


Blogger NYC Educator said...

Costco is better than Sam's Club or BJs. Though it's only partly unionized, all of its workers get affordable health benefits, and they're paid better than employees in the other places.

Their quality is generally excellent, far better than Sam's Club or BJs. I went there yesterday and showed them a pair af glasses frames that broke after they'd adjusted it. Though they were out of warrantee, they replaced them free of charge.

Friday, November 10, 2006 2:08:00 PM  
Anonymous Schoolgal said...

Is it my imagination, or do most of your conversations with your principal end with her laughing?

I hope this trip turns out to be fun, but remember you most have control of your class at all times.
If there are any students who you think might cause trouble, you must insist that the parent be present on the trip (since it is now a mortal sin to keep a child from a trip). And, the last thing you want is the manager calling your principal because of their behavior.

I hope your students appreciate your effor to give them a nice day.

Friday, November 10, 2006 6:37:00 PM  
Blogger Jennie said...

Connected to the Phoenicians, I love it! I feel your pain about being unable to take your students anywhere. I teach our "remedial" classes at my school, and my students regularly see the "rest" of the school go off for trips to various places. Recently, I've started inventing excellent reasons for us to go off-campus as well. We went to Barnes and Nobles because we wanted to do a mathematical survey of how much space they devoted to different genres. We then compared and contrasted (to link it to Language Arts)--and we even got a mini-grant to buy some books!
Keep up the good fight, I'm only in my fifth year--but I just had some kids visit who are now going to college--and it's an incredible feeling to realize that you touch them forever--not just for one year.

Sunday, November 12, 2006 3:35:00 PM  
Blogger Jennie said...

p.s. I've linked to you on my blog; let me know if that's not alright!

Sunday, November 12, 2006 3:38:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I love your blog, my wife is in Special Ed, first as a COTA and now as an Aide. Keep up the good work, Bob

Monday, November 20, 2006 8:28:00 AM  

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