Over the last few weeks, I have had the pleasure of accompanying my students on two end-of-semester fieldtrips.
The first was the Kindergarten fieldtrip to the Sukhothai Airport Zoo. The Sukhothai airport is small, and I did not see a single plane while we were there, but there is a full zoo on the premises. The kids were so excited and ready to go with their hats and too-big bags of snacks before the official start of school. They were too small to see over the tall bus seats but sang and danced to popular Thai hits the entire 30-minute bus ride to the zoo.
We arrived in the blazing tropical heat and tried to walk in patches of shade while we admired the giraffes and lions, my students eager to impress me with their English animal vocab.
“Teacher, zebra!” they shouted, pulling on hand. I took the opportunity to teach them a few new words like alpaca and swan.
A common assignment for English curriculums here is to take students to tourist spots and have them interview foreigners in English. Because of the lack of tourism, I was one of the few foreigners at the zoo that day and patiently answered every interview question I was asked by nervous teens from other schools.
We ended the trip with a picnic in the grass and a long walk back to the bus. By this point, most of the kids were exhausted, their backpacks dragging in the dirt. Many of them fell asleep on the bus ride home.
The primary kids’ fieldtrip was scheduled for a different day, so I was able to join my homeroom class of first graders for that trip as well. Grades 1, 2, and 3 went to the nearby Sukhothai Historical Park, and grades 4, 5, and 6 traveled to a historical park a bit further away.
I had been to the park before, but it was magical to see it again through the eyes of my students. We were given a bus tour, allowing us to cover more distance, but were also permitted to walk around the park at some of the sites.
The students were tasked with drawing one of the structures, and we rested in the shade while they spread out in the dirt to sketch. After a long lunch surrounded by the beauty of the park, we piled back into the bus and called it a day.
These trips were a lot of educational fun for the students. I, too, enjoyed the opportunity to see more of Sukhothai.