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The Pros and Cons of Field Trips

Megan is a Canadian Teaching Assistant working in London primary schools through Protocol Education

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Tripping Hazard: The Pros and Cons of Taking Children on a Field Trip
 
Growing up, I never hated going to school or anything.  I can’t say that I ever went through that phase.  I liked going to school, learning new things and socializing with friends. That being said, there were always one or two days in the year that were slightly more exciting than the rest.  
 
If a field trip was coming up, excitement in the classroom built up.  The prospect of going somewhere new and learning in a different environment was thrilling.  I like to think that even our teachers got excited occasionally.  Either that or they got really nervous.  I'm sure that depended on the class they had at the time. 
 
From a child’s perspective, a field trip was the culmination of greatness.  It didn’t matter where we were going.  Sometimes we just went to a park within walking distance of our school for a picnic  - but it was awesome!  The best was when we went somewhere a good few hours away though and we got to take the bus.  It allowed us to have some social time and enjoy being out of the building.  
 
From a child’s perspective, a field trip was the culmination of greatness.
 
So what are the pros and cons to going on field trips?  Well, let’s start with the cons so we can end on a happy note...
 
We all know that there are always a few students (usually boys, sorry to all the men out there) that are slightly more rowdy than the rest of their peers.  This can cause some reservations about taking them out of the classroom.  They could hurt themselves. They could get lost. They could cause other students to not have a good time or, even worse, embarrass you as their teacher!  Yikes!  That would be bad.  But is it worth the risk?
 
My answer is, of course, YES!  I believe that the benefits of field trips far outweigh the potential cons.  Worst case scenario is that the trouble makers stay behind, but only if they’re REALLY bad.  I would hate for anyone to miss out on a great travel, social and/or learning opportunity.  Some of the best field trips I ever went on had to do with what we were learning in class.  I think it was because I was able to visualize and experience things in a more hands-on way which stayed with me longer than what I had read in a text book.  
 
In conclusion, no matter where you decide to take your students on a field trip, chances are that they will enjoy themselves.  Whether its five minutes down the road or a few hours away, it is sure to be an interesting and fun experience for all.  Just make sure you have lots of chaperones so that you can enjoy yourself, too, with less stress.
 
 Happy and safe travels!
 
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Tags: MeganS, TA, Teaching Assistant, School Outings, Teach in London, Protocol Education

Category: Australian Teachers


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