Teachers’ Opinions Regarding In-Person Field Trips

Issue 4, Volume 113

By The News Department 

“We have a field trip planned for early November in the elective course that I teach on the Middle Ages. We’ll be going first to the Cloisters in Fort Tryon Park. A cloister is the inner sanctuary within a monastery. The Rockefeller family purchased ruins of medieval cloisters from France and Spain, these were shipped to Uptown Manhattan where they were reassembled. The Metropolitan Museum of Art houses its medieval collection in the Cloisters. Then after lunch, we’ll be going to the Cathedral of St. John the Divine on Amsterdam and 112th. This cathedral, begun in the 1890s and still being built, is a great example of the neo-Gothic style of architecture that emulated the architectural style of the High Middle Ages. Cathedrals were not only places of worship, but the community centers in medieval towns. St. John the Divine serves that same purpose for our city and the neighborhood it is located in.” —David Hanna, social studies teacher

“I am not planning on having any field trips this year. It’s not that I’m against the idea, it’s just that since this is an AP course, we won’t really have time for that sort of thing. We spend the year preparing for the AP [exam], so I don’t think we would be able to fit a field trip into our schedule.” —Jeffrey Kivi, AP Chemistry teacher

“I would like to have at least one field trip this year. I was thinking about it last year too, but nothing came to be. I’d be interested in a field trip, but I’m not really sure about the process of making one.” —Lauren Stuzin, English teacher

“We do the history of the Jewish Lower East Side, and visit multiple synagogues to understand how this neighborhood was considered the Jewish Plymouth Rock. We see the architecture that still exists and represents that moment during the Gilded Age when Jews came in giant waves through Ellis Island. We look at the Yiddish forward buildings. During field trips, there’s no fluorescent lights all day, you’re not going to period after period, and you get to breathe fresh air and take advantage of New York City. We don’t have the football fields or cleanliness of the suburbs, but they don’t have the historical sites and landmarks we have. It makes the history a lot more vivid.” —Robert Sandler, social studies teacher

“My English classes—the acting and sophomore classes—are going to see some theater in New York. For the theater, so many kids in New York City have never seen a Broadway show, or have never been to live theater. They live in New York and I think they should. It’s fantastic to go to live theater.” —Julie Sheinman, English teacher