Monday, November 24, 2008

Field Trips...

Every year I rack my brain for a good field trip related to statistics that I would be able to take students on. What topic is so essential that it is necessary to take students on a field study to investigate this topic fully? Every year I ask myself this question, and I have yet to take students on a field trip. I have enough paperwork to handle, the last thing I need is to remind kids to get their yellow form signed and manage. The yellow form........the Golden Ticket of NPHS.

"Hey Mr. C, I will not be in your class because I am going on a field trip. I do not intend to make up the work. In fact, you are going to need to work harder and take more time out of your day to account for everything that I'll be missing. I'm allowed to do this, I have the yellow form that you NEED to sign."

I'm considering an initiative in which I would refuse to sign any field trip form. Another idea is that when a kid hands me a field trip form, I'm going to hand them one back. The teacher that is taking them on the field trip is going to sign it, enabling that student to miss their class once to come to mine and make everything up that they missed as a result of their field trip.

I love how the yellow form gets handed to me...powerfully, with a minimal exchange of words. Should I start requiring a 2 page typed essay about what each student learned on the field trip? Then when a student hands me their essay I just throw it in the recycling bin without even reading it? Is that cruel? Would it end the slew of yellow forms that inundate my desk at the most inconvenient times?

This blog was more therapeutic in nature than any others. Maybe I'm a jealous math teacher who can't take field trips. It does get terribly stressful to manage the 10 tests that I have sitting in a makeup folder right now. I just needed a bit of a release. Thanks for the read!

3 comments:

Ketul said...

I totally agree with that....


I dont really like to go to field trips because i dont like to stay after school or to miss lunch just to make up your work......... There are really few students who take advantage of field trips.......its just a excuse to skip class.....

I love stat said...

Mr.C, the field trip form isnt a golden ticket, it is a jury duty form. And you could definately have a field trip to an insurance agency in which we could observe how actuarys (sp?) do their job. Also, the yellow form is the one time teachers do not have totalitarian control over students. In most cases, you can hand out any punishment you want and accuse me of whatever you wish without any system of checks and balances. The yellow form is the one time in which we have the control.

Please dont take this out on the rest of your sixth period class.

Christiansen said...

There is definitely a system of checks and balances in place...teachers must document everything with respect to students.

We are also not out for "totalitarian control". Our job is to serve as facilitators of knowledge, not to see what we can get students in trouble for. Students have a duty to function within the rules and boundaries of the institution that provides them with that knowledge. When you step into the building, you become OUR responsibility...we are responsible for your actions just as much as you are, and this is the reason it may appear that we are exercising "totalitarian control". You must realize, however, that we are acting out of professional responsibility.