Field Trips Aren’t Just for Students
When thinking about education and field trips most of us automatically see them as student experiences. The role of the teacher is usually a chaperone who makes sure all students are where they are supposed to be and that no one gets left behind on the way back. Teachers need experiences outside of the classroom just as much as students do.
At ChiTech, we believe it is important for our teachers to plan projects for students that connect to real work that professionals do outside of our building. It is easy for teachers to get caught up in teaching content while forgetting if what the students are doing is what anyone in the real world actually does. Our teachers spent part of a professional development day talking through their project ideas with various partner organizations that help add authenticity to our projects.
Our English Team spent the morning with the managing editor of the Chicago Tribune. The focus of their visit was to find out how roles in classroom projects could better resemble an actual editorial team.
Other visits included a trip to BP for members of our Tech Team to learn how commodities trading is done electronically and the concepts of algebra and calculus are used. Our Science Team sat down with a team of engineers from Invenergy to work through ways of creating self-sustaining vertical gardens in our school common spaces. Other teacher excursions included Expedia, Urban GIS, UIC, a Chicago Alderman’s Office, and Hyde Park Art Center.
Teachers should strive to develop a passion for imagining their own classroom projects – and projects should be as authentic as possible. Students need to do real work like real professionals so they gain a better understanding of life after high school.
Author : TJ Pavlov
Real World Learning Manager and Faculty Member