One of the craziest parts of my job is organizing field trips. My boss picks the locations and handles that end – but I have to deal with the student end. It’s my job to hand out permission forms and collect them back. Which isn’t too hard when we have regular class. But, this last round of field trips that we did – taking kids from all five classes on three different days – was preceded by not having regular class the week before. Meaning, I had to hunt students down. And then, some still forgot to bring them back so the day of the field trip they’d have to call home to get permission. This means that we sometimes don’t know who we’re taking until that day. Crazy unorganized.
But, the kids love it. It’s a real motivation for them. We’ve taken them to the Riverwalk, convention centers, churches, and the like. Anywhere we can set up and play for 15-20 minutes.
For every field trip we have to pick a limited number of kids – no more than 26. We have 120 enrolled in our program – so it makes it hard to pick. We have to consider their behavior in our class and in GS as a whole. Attendance is the next marker – they have to show up regularly to be able to go. Their technical skills at playing their instrument is our least concern. We use the fieldtrips to motivate good behavior and attendance out of the students. And it works quite well. Reluctant attendees get much better at not complaining about coming to class every day.
So, I guess field trips are a good thing – even if they drive me crazy.