Every kid in school looks forward to those magic words: field trip. Going on field trips and having different school events are part of each student’s school life. Some trips and events are even a right of passage for some. Students look forward to field trip days, and often, those field trips are major events that bring the school and students together.
This school year looks a little different because of the pandemic. COVID 19 has not only affected how students learn, but has also affected the activities students get to do when they are at school. Traditional field trips that have happened in past years and events have been either canceled or put on hold. Students are not supposed to be in large groups, going to different places, or having a lot of interaction with kids from other schools in case there would be a COVID outbreak. Schools are taking these measures so the students, faculty, and community members will stay safe.
One regular event that has been canceled is soil judging for FFA students. FFA is an organization at school that students can join who are interested in agriculture and farming. FFA helps students learn about what it takes to be a farmer or work in the agricultural business. In normal years, students can participate in events and field trips such as a national convention, visiting different farms, soil judging, livestock judging, and participating in different functions with other schools. Tracy Brunton, the FFA advisor and agriculture teacher at Potosi, stated, “There is talk about having an online judging contest for the things we judge in the spring, like livestock judging, dairy judging, wildlife judging and some of those other contests.”
Brunton also commented on the way teachers are going to be able to teach their classes when they cannot take students on field trips, and they have to change their lesson plans. She stated, “once we know what will be happening and whether we can participate in online things, that may affect things that are being taught in the classroom, other than that, we will adjust just like we have been doing so far all year.”
There are some events that transitioned to online because of Covid. Online events might be happening for FFA dairy judging, wildlife judging, and livestock judging categories. Soil judging cannot be online because you have to be hands on with it. Also, Forensics members have to record their presentation, then send it in to be judged for both sub district and district competitions this year.
This school year has been different for students and teachers, but especially for students and advisors that are in clubs. We have faced many challenges, but also new opportunities we never knew about before.
Some of the online field trips are neat because we can explore things in different states without having to go there in person. Changes are happening all around us because of COVID, but we are hopeful next year things will go back to a sense of normal.