To plan and book a field trip takes a lot of time including the following:
- Researching the field trip places (2 hours)
- Choosing a place, contacting, and working with the organization's leaders to plan the trip. (1 hour)
- Securing transportation. (1 hour)
- Adding up the costs and figuring out the per person cost. (15 minutes)
- Creating and sending out a field trip form. (45 minutes)
- Collecting checks, documenting checks on a form, checking the checks with the secretary (3 hours)
- Following up with students who forget to bring in their checks. (one hour)
- Making sure you have chaperones. (15 minutes)
- Taking the trip and keeping a close eye on children during the trip. (Time for lost breaks, lunch, and extra supervision 2 hours)
A field trip takes a teacher about nine hours over their regular work. If you take five field trips that's about a week's extra work. Teachers always do extra so that's not a big deal, but there are definitely ways to streamline the process.
First, we can easily get rid of the collection piece by having parents pay online. It's possible, but we just need the okay and systematic work connected to that from the business department.
It's easier to secure busses and book field trips during the summer when a teacher can easily use a phone during the day. So if the schedule for the year is set early, teachers can take advantage of that time which will definitely reduce stress during the school year when teachers have trouble accessing a phone.
Also it would be great if we could have some in-house support on field trips. Perhaps coaches, directors, specialists, and assistants could go with us and help out with the students. That would help a lot.
Further we could have a central place where we list all the field trips for the elementary level with phone numbers, costs, and details. Then teachers could use that list to help with preparations.
I think it's important to include well crafted field studies in the learning/teaching menu, and I also think that with the help of others we can streamline this process so it's not quite so cumbersome. Do you agree?