Thursday, June 9, 2016

The Value of Field Trips

By Tracy Allen

There are many field trips at Blake, the majority of them taking place in the 8th grade year. The guidance counselors use the time on these trips to help supervise but also to have more casual interactions with the students. 

Some may question the validity of all our Blake trips. We do have far more than the other Medfield buildings. I will be on my third field trip in three weekstomorrow.  I must admit that a field trip can be and is often very disruptive to my own work flow. The teachers have found wonderful ways to enhance their curriculum with these educational adventures, and the  social emotional benefits for the kids far outweighs any stress about missing a day (or 4 with the DC trip) in the office.

Field trips are also an a great tool to provide opportunities that some of our students might not get to experience otherwise and for us to experience our students in a way we wouldn't necessarily otherwise.  We get to witness natural peer interactions that as counselors we only see in the hallways, at lunch or after school when students have more "hanging out" time with their friends. Dynamics in friend groups are evident. Positive pairings and pairings that need extra eyes on stand out. A student's ability to stay on task is apparent as is the joy of learning outside the classroom. Our connection with the students can be strengthened by long bus ride conversations or sing-alongs. Support is readily available to students having difficulties, friendship or otherwise, while away from the comfort of the Blake building. All things point to positive outcomes from our many school trips.

Will I ever say no chaperoning to a field trip? Not if I can help it. 

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