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.