On April 19 and 20, the BFA Fairfax eighth grade team departed on our annual trip to Boston, Massachusetts. I was once again reminded of the importance of creating learning experiences that challenge and enhance students’ worldviews and perspectives.
During our two-day journey, our students had the opportunity to learn about the history of Boston, visit important landmarks of the American Revolution on the Freedom Trail, explore a wide variety of exhibits at the Museum of Science and the New England Aquarium, and take in a performance of The Blue Man Group and a Duck Boat tour.
The other learning experiences were also equally important. Students implemented important life skills like time and money management, healthy and appropriate risk-taking, and problem-solving and coping with situations that cause anxiety and discomfort. We were privileged to watch our students navigate the city, experience the architecture, interact with an urban landscape, and cope with hustle and bustle of city life.
Once again, Rhonda Siemons, our technology integrationist, created a closed group on Facebook that allowed us to engage parents, students, staff, and community members with updates of our travels— text, images, and videos. The use of social media continues to provide a connection in real time that enhances this experience for all.
Thank you to Jennifer Skerrett, Emily Wills, Jerry Bailey, Michelle Messier, Nichole Wehman and Dylan Callan for going above and beyond the call of duty for our students. I appreciate all of you and your efforts to make this trip to Boston a success. I feel fortunate to work with you!
Also, this trip would not occur without all the countless hours of coordination and planning by Sally Billado. I want to express an enormous amount of gratitude to her for making this trip run flawlessly.
Finally, a big thank you to the Fairfax/Fletcher community for supporting this experience. I am so grateful to have had the opportunity to go on this trip with our students. Watching them experience Boston was an important reminder of the value of living each day and being thankful for the opportunities we get to experience. We are confident that it was time and money well spent. These students were great representatives of our communities. The learning and experiences created memories that will last a lifetime.
Thomas Walsh is currently Principal of BFA Fairfax Elementary Middle School and is a regular contributor to the FWSU Blog. You can follow him on Twitter @educatamount