Watching students squirm in their seats and contemplate the world outside our classroom always presented me with a challenge. The challenge was how to ensure that all my students exited with the skills to learn and acquire more knowledge than when they entered. One surefire way to gain their interest and enthusiasm was planning and executing a field trip. Somehow, leaving the confines of the school building and venturing into the great, and frequently unfamiliar beyond, ratcheted up the attention span and curiosity level of my charges. Amazingly, when off school grounds, even the most challenging student would undergo a mysterious personality change and become pleasant company. Even the bus ride away from school led to revelatory conversations in which random bits of information about family, food preferences, and spare time activities opened up a fresh perspective about the psyche of the kid who often seemed semi-comatose in class.
Planning and funding the trip was not a task for the faint of heart. There were a myriad of forms, numerous required signatures, nagging requirements and provisos, and fund raising activities. Ah the suspense of not knowing whether the bus would be approved, permission slips would be returned with legal signatures, and if the requisite number of chaperones would arrive to allow this much wished for event to occur.
Finally, would all this effort yield the hoped for results? The ideal scenario for a field trip for my students was a day to stay in motion, explore, get answers to burning questions, eat a good lunch, visit the gift shop and not get yelled at. As for me, I hoped for all of the above plus the rekindling of an enthusiasm for learning.
Now that I am in the role of inviting and welcoming teachers and students to their field trip oasis, I am doubly excited that NMAJH has created a new membership program for teachers. This Teacher Membership is truly an impactful gift. It grants teachers unlimited free visits to the Museum, an inside track to Museum news and programs, discounts at the NMAJH store and café, reduced costs for school visits, and access to web content and teacher workshops. All these supports are available for the introductory tax deductible price of $36 a year.
Teachers have always been high atop my list of heroes, and I hope that this sentiment is shared by many of you. So, do more than hug a teacher. Consider increasing their ability to reach all their students with a gift of a Teacher Membership to NMAJH.
To purchase a Teacher Membership, please call 215.923.3811 x 106. Teacher Memberships will soon be available for purchase online!