There were thousands of seagulls (two different types we learned) circling the site “like a tornado of birds” as one student described it. We wondered about the origin of a deflated basketball lying amid some tire pieces. The box from a well-known fast food restaurant caught the eye of many children as it tumbled in the wind across the landfill site. Our guide was patient as more than one child wanted to know if the birds were ever run over by the massive tires of the Trash Master truck. Many students cheered when they observed one of the city workers wearing a Calgary Flames hat. It is always truly magical to see the world though a child’s eyes and to pay attention to what they notice. As adults, our eyes can pass right by a detail that children find interesting.
On field trips it is also wonderful to observe students in a different setting. A normally quiet student gets really excited and verbal when the presenter is taking questions, a student who generally gives off a tough persona snuggles up to his mom his mom who is volunteering today. I get to joke and laugh with the kids a bit more than when I am trying to get them to complete a writing assignment. We all learn so much in this out of school setting.
Every teacher can also attest to one of the most satisfying parts of a field trip. This happens as we are all getting off the bus, almost every time. “I don’t know how you do it,” the parent volunteers say, looking exhausted. It makes me smile and feel a little bit like a superhero every time I hear it.
Sydney Fay (@s_teachy) is an avid reader and runner. She loves field trips despite the fact that the paperwork can be daunting. Waste And Our World is one of her favourite Science units in Grade Four.