The end of the Magic School Bus?

Posted on October 27, 2011


Senior Andrew Bunker on the field trip to North River Farms

This year at Croatan, there will be fewer field trips than there have been in the past. Due to reduced funding and early athletic dismissals, the field trips have been cut back to save time and money. For those that are allowed, the main question is whether the benefits outweigh the cost of leaving the classroom.

The majority of teachers agree with field trips as long as they are benefiting the students. Ones that last all day are sometime frowned upon by fellow teachers since their students are being taken out of class. Mrs. Lyon, an Earth/Environmental teacher, feels “when students are gone [one day] for a field trip in one person’s class, [and] two days later for another person’s class and the next day they leave early for athletics, then it can become an issue.”

Most teachers feel that certain students may not be capable of missing a particular class period, either. Mrs. Lyon agrees by saying, “Field trips may come at a time that a student doesn’t need to miss another teacher’s class. I have found that permission slips don’t always mean anything. If a teacher signs a permission slip and states the student does not need to be out of their class, they [sometimes] go on the field trip anyway.” It is up to the student to complete their make up work after going on a field trip.

Students are able to make the decision of going on the field trips are not. Some feel that they cut into too much class time. Brendan Buffington, a senior, said “Last year I was in a class that went on field trips almost every other week. [They] were fun, but it started cutting into class periods that I needed to go to. They all had educational value, but I was starting to miss too much of my math class. For every student there’s a different line for when field trips start cutting into the academic success too much.”

This week (Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday) students in Mrs. Moore’s Marine Science class will be taking a field trip to North River Farms. “This week, we are focusing on visiting and doing field studies at a very large restoration and preservation property owned by the NCCF called North River Farms” says Moore.

This is one of the few day-long field trips the science class will be able to venture on, and it’s as close as Beaufort. Mrs. Moore says the field trip will benefit the students, and since “we are working with the North Carolina Coastal Federation, then that group [will] benefit from the trip, too.” Students are also being asked to bring in three dollars to help pay for the substitute teacher, which is supposed to help save money for the school.

However, Mrs. Moore’s classes go on many field trips that only last one class period. They have gone down to the sound many times, where they seine and discover several marine animals. They have also gone to the Maritime Museum to study local marine items.

It is no question that students enjoy field trips, no matter where they are going. The trips are beneficial because they are hands on activities that require students’ participation. Some lessons cannot be taught in the classroom; especially with environmental ones, according to Mrs. Moore, “[you] have to DO them.”

Reported By Kayeleigh Hardy

Posted in: News