When I was in grade school, one of my absolute favorite things was going on field trips. Nothing beat a day outside of school and the opportunity to hang with your best mates in a new, fun place. I suppose it had something to do with the fact that I had not been on a field trip in about 15 years, but after I started working at my school and realized they were going on tons of field trips, the nostalgic memories started to creep back. Thankfully, it wasn’t long after my moment of realization that I started to get involved in the school field trip mix.
IF YOU GET INVITED, SAY YES
It feels like every other week my school has a trip, field day or fun activity scheduled for the students, so when one my coworkers asked if I wanted to join one, I did not hesitate to say yes. I will admit that after I said yes, I was a tad apprehensive about how that would work with my schedule, but it ended up being the classic adage of “if you never ask, you will never know.” Committing to the trip meant I had to get permission from the powers that be and slightly rearrange my class schedule, but everyone was willing to make it work. So far, I have been snowboarding in the Sierra Nevada’s in Granada, to a picadero, and to Doñana National Park
EXTRA TIME WITH THE STUDENTS
The best part of field trips is the extra time you get to spend with the students. I think it has something to do with being outside the classroom, but I found that the students are more willing to open up and practice their English. It is also the perfect time to get to know them better, ask them questions, play games, or joke around. The field trip environment is much more relaxed, and the students can sense it, so it's a great time to take advantage of the opportunity.
AND EXTRA TIME WITH THE TEACHERS
Just like with the students, field trips are a great way build relationships with the other teachers. I spend so much time with my coworkers, but oftentimes we are talking about class work, the students, schedules for the following week, etc., so the trips offer a nice break from the school hustle and a chance to learn more about the teachers. In all my experiences, my colleagues loved the more in-depth conversations and were happy to share information about themselves and their families. It's also great language practice because the teachers who want to practice their English will take the free time to do so, and on the opposite end, they are happy to engage in conversations in Spanish.
On top of spending more time with the students and teachers, the trips are a great way to explore and discover parts of Spain and Spanish culture. I am fortunate that my school takes the kind step of including me along for the ride.