Sometimes it's tough to be the new kid. When I joined the fifth grade team in my new school, I found a group of well seasoned teachers with clearly established routines and and a previously formulated plan of attack. While they appreciate my youthful willingness to contribute to pesky administrator-directed activities, they don't really ask for suggestions when it comes to "the plan" (and being a new kid, I'm not terribly quick to offer anyway). I believe that this may account for the impending doom which lurks on Tuesday as my 5th graders and I venture forth to a... *ominous music plays*...
"Historical Museum Village"
It's not even as exciting as you'd think based on the above description if you can believe it! As I take a virtual tour through their website, I'm greeted with phrases such as "Heritage Gallery" and "Archival collections." Now, I like history as much as the next guy, but reading through this stuff in order to prep my kids for the big day is making me want to poke my eyes out with sharp sticks. And trust me when I tell you that bilingual students have NO idea what heritage or archives even are, would find no relevance in either one to their current situation, and definitely couldn't pronounce the words if you asked them.
But, my friends, it is my job and solemn duty to make learning occur in every situation. AND I hate the idea of wasting a field trip which is our students' opportunity to experience learning in a very real environment. It is with that understanding that I have spent my Sunday afternoon scouring the website in order to gather enough evidence to create a pretty awesome activity/competition that will *crosses fingers* keep my students engaged through the entire day and have them coming back to school bragging to the 4th graders about their "best field trip ever."
OK, maybe my goals are a little lofty, but either way I'm coming at this with a preemptive strike. And, as in so many teaching moments, sometimes you can get by on sheer on-the-fly cunning, but sometimes the best defense is a strong offense...and that is the strategy I plan to employ on this such occasion.
The good news?
Next year, the teacher who has always been in charge of this field trip is retiring. I have already researched other options and at this point next year, we will hopefully be on our way towards an interactive awe-inspiring and engaging out-of-the-classroom learning experience. One can always dream. ;)