Field trips are some of the most important events when it comes to education. Everyone takes at least one in their high school career and they’re some of the things that students look forward to most. They provide invaluable educational benefit, field experience, and hands-on education unavailable elsewhere. But no matter how amazing the field trip was, we always come back to the same thing, the inundation of work from other classes. Field trips make it extremely difficult for teachers to progress in a class, especially when there’s several in a row. There’s backtracking in class, which bores the students who have to learn the lesson twice, and generally lower grades due to missing assignments or unlearned information. It’s nearly impossible to make progress if attendance is low, and this puts our education system at a high disadvantage.
Field trips are amazing, once-in-a-lifetime experiences, but is it fair to take instrumental time away from other classes? Our teachers are trained in a certain subject area because they are passionate about it, because they want to educate the student body and give them insight into the small sublet of academia that they feel is the most important. It can feel offensive when students can saunter into their classroom the day before a major test, hand them a permission slip, and casually say, “I’m going on a field trip tomorrow, can you sign this?”
Despite the drawbacks, all field trips have some educational or life value. The cheer competition in Florida taught teamwork and camaraderie, and business trade shows allow students to delve into a career pathway that can lead students to a job that they love. Theater productions, art museum tours, and visits to film studios can seem erratic, useless, and a giant waste of time, but to the aspiring actor or budding film producer, it is a once in a lifetime chance to learn something new and to facilitate future decisions. Even if students don’t have any desire to play Fantine on Broadway, field trips afford to us experiences that can be lost in later life.
With the exception of extremely low grades, the field trip choice should be exclusively up to the student. It’s their own decision on whether or not they want to go. It’s their responsibility to determine if they’re going to fall behind or they can keep their heads above water in their other classes. I’m sure you’ve met the average high school student; do you think they can handle that kind of responsibility?