What used to be a not so simple, but doable process of reserving tickets, collecting money, ordering busses, having a check cut, and paying upon arrival for field trips has now become almost impossible.
Today I got a call from the theater company telling us they needed a check today or else our tickets and trip would be cancelled. In the past we were able to bring a check with us. Then I asked our office for a check and was told that no check can be cut unless all the money is collected so we had to cancel the trip because there's no way we can collect the money in one day while the students are at school.
In the past, we made things work on little time.
Now field trips require extensive lead time, paperwork, and communication. The incentive to plan these wonderful learning experiences is becoming greatly diminished. While students learn a lot, a teacher simply doesn't have the extra time for all this extra administrative work. Sometimes, as a classroom teacher, it feels like everything lands on our laps while our planning time remains less than one hour a school day.
I'm happy to do the extra work it takes and that's why I spent about 40 hours during my summer arranging and preparing for field trips, but I don't have another 40 hours during the school year to do this work. Can you tell I'm frustrated.