Friday, April 24, 2009

Teachers Love Field Trips Too

One of my favorite things about teaching 3rd grade is our field trip to Washington D.C.

Today is the day that we load up the bus and head for the mall in DC. I love seeing the looks on kids faces when I tell them that "the mall" doesn't have any stores to shop in. Since I grew up about an hour or so outside of DC I remember many summer trips to the city. We would park outside of town and take the Metro in which was an experience in and of itself. Then we would visit the museums, play on the mall, and enjoy hot dogs and pretzels from the trailers surrounding the mall. Good times!!

Now living in Delaware I am amazed by the number of students who have never been to DC. We live only 2 1/2 hours from our nations capital and they have never seen the Capital building, Smithsonian Castle, White House, National Monument, or any of the other memorials, museums, zoos... I can understand if you live hours and hours away, but only a couple hours and still not been. Weird!

Anyways, I love being able to relive the amazement of my childhood visits with them and relish the question "Are we going to DC this year?" on the first day of school. So tomorrow is the big day and my students have been bubbling with excitement all week in anticipation of the trip.

On the students agenda: The Natural History Museum (my favorite, can't get enough of it), the American History Museum (haven't been there since the renovation last year so curious to see what's new), and the Air and Space Museum (I'd rather poke my eyes out than go because planes do nothing for me).

My agenda: Sitting on the mall, taking pictures, admiring the trees, a pop in to the Natural History and American museum in the morning and then the National Art Museum in the afternoon. Last year I decided to visit the art museum, thinking it was time to get some culture, but ended up at the Hirshhorn Museum which totally was NOT my thing. By the time I finally found the art museum it was half hour before pick up so I only saw one little section before running to the bus. This time I look forward to spending a few hours looking at art. Of course I'm also looking forward to getting my hot dog and pretzel from the street vendor!

How do I get a free day in DC without any kids on a field trip, you ask?? Easy, you stress to all the parents that each child needs a chaperon since we are going so far away from school. Honestly, what I have found is that parents are so excited about this trip that they have no problem taking off and coming with us. Usually the problem I run into is having enough seats on the bus because both parents want to come!! This year every child has a chaperon which leaves me to be available for "emergencies". LOVE IT!!

So we are off on my most favorite day of the school year...well except for maybe the first day of school, last day before Christmas vacation, last day before spring vacation, and last day before summer vacation. But, DC field trip still ranks pretty high! Oh and did I mention that it is supposed to be absolutely gorgeous. Sunny and in the high 70's. Bring it on!!!

Have you visited Washington D.C. before? What is your favorite thing to see there? If not, what is one thing you would love to be able to see in person.


  1. We haven't been to DC yet. :( I've never really lived close enough, so it would be a matter of actually scheduling the trip.

    DH almost had to go to DC once, but he got out of it somehow. There wasn't enough time for us to all go anyway. sigh! Maybe when he gets back we can go.

  2. I've only been once, when I was in highschool, my ROTC group went. I loved it. I loved seeing the Lincoln Memorial. We also got to go inside the Capital. We got to sit in on a meeting that was going on. I loved the mall & people watching. Loved the Air & Space museum, as well as the National history museum.

    I'm hoping to take the girls, one day, but want Olivia to be a little older, so she'll enjoy it more.

    I hope you enjoyed your trip!

  3. Oh, I hated field trips. I get bus sick and wrangling free range students in more exhausting than penning them up in a building and classroom.

    Of course, we never went anywhere as cool as The Mall in D.C. And it is awesome but I haven't been there since 1993.

  4. The last time I went to Washington DC I was in 1st grade, so I need to get back. I remember so many things, yet there is SO much more. One of the musts on my next trip is the Holocaust Museum.

    When I was teaching we took trips to NYC and Boston. Since I was the HR teacher in charge of the trips I made sure we had enough parents so each one only had 2-4 students with them. That gave the teachers on the trip the freedom to watch the groups from a distance -- the best way to go. BTW, I am talking 8th graders so no need for so many parents for the distance we traveled.

  5. Sounds like a great trip! If only you didn't have to ride the bus to get there. I hope your students have fun.

    It has been a while since we have been to DC. My youngest is only 2, so I think we should probably wait a few more years. Although I think the older two would love to go!

  6. have fun!!! I have only been once, when I was really young, so I don't remember much. I'd love to go back!

  7. okay first of all I can't believe you are able to go THAT far away from school on a field trip. Our 5th grade used to go but since 9/11 have shied away from trips like DC or Philly. They usually do Baltimore.
    Second, lucky you for having a parent per kid! I guess you can do that cause it is just your class. We always do field trips with another class.
    But I must say that I'm jealous that you won't have any "responsibilities" when you go. It's normally the PARENTS who act worse then the kids for me!!

    Hope you enjoyed your day! Today was GORGEOUS here, I'm sure it was there too! I LOVE the National History Museum, too!

  8. I haven't been on a field trip for two years, but we used to go to the science museum. I loved it because, just like you, we'd get enough chaperons that we wouldn't have to have a group of kids ourselves. It was SO nice!

  9. Great field trip! I want to go there someday too. I hope you don't mind, I tagged you on my blog.

  10. Take a virtual field trip to NYC, San Diego and Colorado with MEET ME AT THE CORNER, Virtual FIeld Trips for Kids (, This site features video pod casts for kids by kids and it's free!


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