Field trips for teachers are tiring. While it’s a day that I don’t have to be in the classroom worrying about completing lessons and doing other work, it is a day full of keeping track of students, crossing your fingers they are on their best behavior, loud
talking screams on the bus, etc. Last week, I got roped into being one of the chaperones for a trip with my seniors to the National College Fair. I documented almost all of the parts of my day on the trip so this post will serve as a combination “guide” to surviving a field trip and a virtual way for you all to tag along. Let’s get started!
First, the National College Fair was in Atlantic City which is roughly 2 hours away from my school so we would be driving two hours to the fair, spending a bit of time there, and then driving back in order to be back at school by 3. Let’s process that for a moment….
Step 1: So, we had to leave the school by 7:30 which meant that I needed to be at work a little earlier than usual. In order to get there in time, without having to wake up even earlier, I ate a quick breakfast in the car.
Step 2: Next, plan ahead (especially when you know you’re going to be on a school bus for approximately 4 hours) with snacks. My friend and I made a deal – she brought chips and I would bring the chocolate/candy.
Sorry some of the pictures are a little blurry. It’s really hard to get good pictures on a moving bus! The snacks came in handy when we got hungry and also when we were just bored. The Lifesavers were helpful when I had a student who was about to throw up. I gave her a Lifesaver and she started to feel a little better.
Step 3: Bring music to listen to so you don’t have to listen to the kids being loud and obnoxious for 4 hours. Luckily, the kids were really good and surprisingly not too loud at all. But, I still listened to some music to pass the time. Loud enough to drown out some of the noise, but soft enough that I could still hear them if they called me.
Step 4: Get to Atlantic City and go to the college fair at the Convention Center. Unfortunately, I couldn’t kill time at the casinos so my friend and I had to think of other things to pass the time while the kids went around talking to college reps.
Step 5: We decided to take the bags they give to everyone upon entering and have a competition over who could get the most free pens/items.
Step 6: Apparently, all the schools realized people go to their tables just to take pens because with 500 colleges and universities in the hall, not one of them had any pens. I repeat, there were NO pens.
Step 7: After making a few rounds around the hall and not collecting any pens, we found a bench to sit on. We chatted, took selfies, and laughed at Instagram videos.
Step 8 & 9: I forgot to take pictures of these 2 things so you’ll have to use your imagination. Imagine a huge convention center. The hall the National College Fair was in had enough room for 500 schools and that was only a portion of the convention center. So, when you see the sign for “Food Court”, you imagine a pretty big food court with all different food places. What you probably wouldn’t expect is a pretty spacious area with just 1 food stand. Suffice it to say, it took forever for us to get our food only to find out that none of the students bought food. Some claimed they didn’t know they were supposed to eat and some thought the food was overpriced. Anyway, it took forever to get our food so my friend and I ate our buffalo chicken wraps on the bus, which was pretty difficult to do on a bumpy bus ride!
Step 10: When it’s a chilly day and your bus driver won’t turn on the heat, a hot chocolate is necessary! We stopped at a rest stop so the kids could all get food since they didn’t eat (see steps 8 &9) and a Starbucks hot chocolate was just what I needed.
The rest of the bus ride was pretty smooth (but cold) and we got back to school in time for the kids to take their buses home.
Additional Step: When you’re going to be on a bus for so long, you want to be comfortable. I had to also keep in mind that it was chilly out (didn’t even think about the fact that I’d be freezing on the bus) and I didn’t want to be mistaken for a student at the fair.
Hope you enjoyed this little trip with me!