Sunday, June 05, 2011

One-upped on the Field Trip meter

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Oh I get it.  THAT’S what they mean by a more “engaging” educational experience.  See, when I plan a field trip I look at places like the U.S.S. Hornet, the San Francisco Federal Reserve Bank, and even the Chabot Planetarium.  Apparently I got it all wrong. 

In the end, what the kids really want is wings.

Apparently some of Berwick Middle School’s eighth graders had a parent who felt that the best dining experience in Baltimore’s Inner Harbor was the local Hooters.  Using the excuse that there were no other places that could handle 15 kids (ESPN Zone anyone?), the parent chose to expose the little tykes to a variety of wings, some of which might have been bolder in flavor or may have been a tad spicy.  Yummy.

In all seriousness, this is one of the risks of parent drivers in an era of budget cuts.  I’ve been lucky in dealing with basketball drivers since I know most of them personally, and those that I don’t know have reputations for being pretty upstanding people.  Nobody will be making a pit stop in Cloverdale to grab a couple of forties to drown a loss to Cardinal Newman.  But I’ve had some parents on class field trips that can be a little difficult to handle.  One of the last things a teacher needs is another kid to baby sit, especially if that kid makes decisions that you are responsible for.  And what makes it more interesting, almost none of the parent volunteers are vetted for issues that could concern a teacher.  Add on to that the fact that I live in Mendocino County, a place where many people can get into drug and alcohol problems, and the cost/benefit of a field trip becomes a serious issue.

I love giving the kids an experience of a good field trip.  But most educators need to realize that it is often little fun for the instructor during the trip because you are responsible for those in your care. 

That includes side trips to Hooters.

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