Academic Adventures--Teachers Resume Field Trip Planning
By Dylan Edwards--Eagle Staff Writer
When students attend their new classes each semester, a common first-day question relates to field trips.
Field trips allow students to have hands-on experiences related to class topics or as a bonding mechanism for entire grades.
“Teachers decide field trips based on the classes they teach and if they fit in their curriculum,” administrator Rebecca Rogers began. “They enter it on a program called Trip Tracker."
Once suggested, the approval process seems to be drawn out, but has its reasoning.
“I have to approve it first, then it goes to Mr. Crutchfield who also has to approve it, then the school board, as they approve every field trip. Then it goes to transportation, so they can schedule the amount of buses and drivers needed,” Rogers explained.
COVID-19 has thrown additional challenges into this process.
“With COVID, we have to be aware of the people students would be around, especially from other areas and double checking if it’s safe, which we’ve never done before,” Rogers stated. “We now look at each trip as a case by case basis, and we get a request about once every month."
History Teacher Michelle Jones has first hand experiences with these new hurdles for field trip planners to jump through.
“I had to cancel a field trip for May of 2020 where we were supposed to go to D.C. for a few days. We couldn’t schedule anything last year as well, but we can this year without problems because our current trip is local and outside, which is safer than an indoor museum,” Jones concluded.
This "current trip" Jones mentioned took place on October 27. Sophomores and juniors in Virginia and U.S. History classes travelled to visit the National D-Day memorial in Bedford.
Jones enjoys taking students on field trips since she prefers a more hands-on teaching style.
“I love field trips. That’s the best way to learn because you get to interact with things instead of just hearing about it,” Jones advocated. “I don’t care about planning small or large field trips. Sometimes I’ll take 4 students, other times it can be 250.”
In addition to academic adventures, senior field trips may be returning in the upcoming years as well, but for right now, plans are unknown.
“Amy Johnson and senior class sponsors usually plan something out every year, based on student demand when they’re juniors, and they try to figure out what they can do,” Rogers commented. “Once they took a four day trip to Florida on Spring Break to Disney World, and also day trips to Baltimore for baseball games and sightseeing. Unfortunately, there doesn’t seem to be one this year.” Rogers concluded.
Field trips will likely become more common in the years to come as COVID runs its course and students can once again travel more freely.