Teaching Made Easy with School Trips

By Zumen Javed ‘18 and Salenna Weiner ‘18

Many teachers claim that trips are a great way to teach their students in a different environmental setting.

Most people know what a trip is: when a group of students go with their teacher to a location outside of school and can further learn what they are being taught in class. It provides them with a different view, a new way of learning beyond the classroom. Many teachers like Mr. Jason Richardson, for one, agree with this idea.

“It’s a different experience,” he said. “It can open your mind to something new.”

Mr. Richardson teaches global and though he hasn’t gone on any recent trips, he still considers them to be a great idea. Parks, museums, zoos, and movies are some of the many places he listed that could benefit a student’s learning experience.

“Depending on the teacher, there’s a lot of different places around the city that could help,” he added. “[For example,] we teach about different countries but never get the chance to try their food.”

For global classes, specifically, he suggested teachers take their students to restaurants and try a variety of foods from divergent origins of the world. This would give them a prominent understanding of the different cultures they learn about in class.

Mr. Daniel Jordan is another teacher who is fond of taking his students on trips. He’s been teaching music for two years now and has already been on three.

“Trips expose students to different things in the city that you can’t experience in a building,” he stated.

Mr. Jordan said that the school building restricts students from the various types of learning they could acquire outside of it. There is a variety of places he likes to take his pupils to, but student workshops and special events are especially interesting. There was a recent event right next door on November 4; Woodwind, Brass, and Percussion Day at Brooklyn College. Mr. Jordan took his class to this event giving them the opportunity to engage with other people who play the same instruments as well as talk to faculty. Ella Redmond ‘19, a member of the symphonic band, went on this trip with her classmates.

“It was really fun and I got a lot of really good experience from it that will help me grow as a musician,” she commented

Jawaria Tahir ‘18, like Redmond ‘19, also believes that trips benefit her educationally. One trip she went on was the 13th NYC High School Journalism Conference at Baruch College,

“I learned new ways of interviewing people there,” she claimed. “Along with other journalism techniques that will come in handy later in class or if I wish to pursue a career in the topic.”

The journalism conference is an annual event held at Baruch College where high school journalists get together. Ms. Catherine Kaczmarek took a few of her students to the event on November 3.

“It gives them an opportunity to learn from professionals as well as other students,” she concluded.

Students at the conference were exposed to distinct workshops, conducted by either teachers or students, where they learned tips and new ways on how to become a better journalist.

Not all teachers take their students on trips. Take Nathaelle Denis ‘17 for instance. Denis ’17 is a senior and has not been on a single class trip her entire four years here at Midwood.

“There was never the occasion where one my classes offered me a trip,” she claimed.

This problem resides with numerous students because not all teachers take their class on trips. Most of the time, it’s not because they consider them a bad idea or don’t want to show their students something new, but because creating a trip is a tedious process. Mr. Richardson, for example, hasn’t gone on a trip in 20 years.

“For myself, it’s hard to organize it and hard to gather the class. With the curriculum and being a dean, it’s not as easy,” he said.

Mr. Richardson is not the only one who shows these concerns. Mr. Jordan also recognizes organizing a trip as a difficult procedure.

“It is a lot of work to set up a trip. Figuring out where to go, permission slips, the actual event itself, and filing paperwork with the office,” are a few of the many things a teacher must do before taking his or her students somewhere. “Also finding out if the event will even have us,” Mr. Jordan concluded.

Both teachers relish trips, but these issues make it more difficult for them, and other teachers, to carry through with making the trip a reality.

Nonetheless, students and teachers both consider trips to be a valuable experience.

“Trips are a way of learning using all of your senses. For some kids, learning from a book doesn’t give them a sense of what they’re learning,” Ms. Kaczmarek explains.

It’s something more exciting and interactive than what we see every day in school. Rather than just sitting in a classroom, they allow students to connect with the outside world and see a topic from different points of views.

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