Field of Learning

I’m pretty sure that everyone would agree that the best days in elementary school were the class field trip days. It was a day spent out of the classroom and even though it was still educational it didn’t feel like learning. If you were lucky, you also had field trips in junior high and high school.

For students in the Reading area, one of the more popular field trips is to one of three Fightin Phils games in the spring. Each season the team has three games that are specifically geared towards school groups.

In many ways, the education day games are great. They provide the schools with educational field trips that are also fun; at each game there are scientific presentations that teach kids about things such as the laws of motion, and the kids are given the chance to discuss school and baseball during a question and answer session with Fightins players.

For a few hundred elementary school students, this is the best day of their school year. The day is similar to having three hours of recess and no actual classwork. For the middle school kids, it’s a day where they can act cool in front of their friends and buy any food they want without worrying about their parents getting mad. They don’t stop to think that when they get home, they will¬†have to explain why they only have two dollars left of the twenty they left home with that morning.

There are also ways in which these days are not the best.

I would have to say the worst part of dealing with education days is dealing with all of the young kids who either run away from their chaperones or whose chaperones are not paying attention and have no control over what the kids are doing. It is hard enough to get a group of kids to all stand quietly and order one at a time, but when there is no adult in the picture to help out it gets even more difficult. I understand that the teachers are trying their best – I know plenty of people who work in education including my parents – and it can be hard to keep kids under control when they are in a new location and their excitement level is off the charts. All I ask is that you don’t send a group of first graders up by themselves to order food; that is why all field trips have chaperones.

Over the years I have seen some great chaperones. Both parents and teachers alike who have the students under control, have them all ready to order when they come to the window, and even some who have helped a student out who may be short a dollar or two and he or she really wants those sprinkles. There are definitely more positives to education day than there are negatives.

Despite the frustrations that may arise from dealing with so many children in this type of setting, I think the education day games are a great part of the Fightins’ organization and I hope they continue to have them each summer. It is just one of the many ways the organization stays involved with the community and it is a great way to introduce America’s pastime to a new generation of fans.

And besides, who wouldn’t want to watch five hundred ping-pong balls explode all over a baseball field?

Confessional: What was your favorite field trip in school and why?


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