No $ for a Field Trip? No problem! Field Trip Exchanges
It’s that time of year here across the US where classrooms are gathering brown bagged lunches, getting onto big busses, and taking off to see awesome springtime field trips! As kids we loved them. As teachers, we have a more complicated love/hate relationship with them…unless your budget has evaporated. There’s nothing that makes us yearn to get out of the classroom into the springtime air for a meaty field trip more than having ZERO dollars.
I get it. I’ve been there.
My kids and I, here in Kansas, were less than 2 hours from a world-class, Smithsonian-affiliated museum, the Cosmosphere in Hutchinson Kansas (which just happens to have the world’s largest collection of Cold War space artifacts outside of Russia). Sure, we’re in the same area code, but it might as well have been 200 hours away. There was no way we were going to be able to afford to go there. This year. Or next. Or next.
Let’s not even talk about getting to see a tidal pool. Or a mountain. Or a national park. Or an historical reenactment. All of those were off the table with our vanished budget.
Sound familiar? I feel you.
So toward that end, let me introduce the #fieldtripxchange:
I used to do these with some teachers across the US and just this morning I was talking with a couple teachers across Kansas from one another, Dawn Flax from Ness City and Shelby Thompson from Bluestem Middle School, who are looking to share mindspace with one another as they venture deeper into PBL. They are planning an AWESOME collaborative indigenous American cuisine PBL unit for next year, but wanted to get their classes together this year.
Enter the Field Trip Exchange idea.
We talked about local opportunities for them to travel and then share what they experienced and learned. But then we figured we could get really pointed and have one class send the other out on a mission to help them pre-think, pre-plan, and pre-sent.
After our convo, I knew I wanted more teachers involved, but not necessarily with these ladies’ trips. I didn’t want to overwhelm them, but knew this could fill a multiple-level need for teachers and schools.
So I started to build.
If you’re interested too, check out this Field Trip Exchange Understandings GoogleDoc to get the gist of what we’re looking for from the docent class, the patron class and…and if you’re just an individual wanting to help, there’s even a place for you!
To sign up to OFFER a field trip or to REQUEST a field trip, check out this Google Sheet.
Listen, I know this isn’t something as beautiful as a million-dollar company could build. But it’s just real collaboration between real educators. Check it out. Reach out. Connect. Make the rules to fit your needs. I’m watching the Twitter hashtag #fieldtripxchange to see the adventures we all get up to! I can’t wait!
If this is interesting to you, please share it with other educators. The more we have contributing, the more we all gain.