When I met Miss. Mary for the first time at the welcome reception, she told me that all of the first grade classes would be taking a field trip. Of course, I was excited to hear that, and she explained that it would be a very simple outing where the kids would take a snack to a local park. I was able to go on three different field trips during my student teaching in the United States, so I was looking forward to comparing the experiences. They were definitely different experiences.
Barcelona – Approximately 120 1st graders and 8 teachers walked half a mile through a metropolitan city.
Bowling Green – Students and teachers rode buses through a suburban city.
Barcelona – Teachers only
Bowling Green – Teachers and parents
Barcelona – Each student brought a large portion of a healthy snack such as figs, nuts, strawberries, kiwi, sweet potatoes, grapes, etc. When we arrived at the park the students were instructed to sit in a circle and start eating their snack. Five minutes later they were told to stand up , walk around, and offer their snack to the other students. They were told to “be generous”. For about 15-20 minutes the students walked around and shared snacks with each other and many offered for me to try theirs, which I did.
Bowling Green – When I went to Jackson’s Orchard with the kindergarten class, we gave each student one sugar cookie and an apple slush. The students were told not to touch anyone else’s food. We sat at a picnic table with napkins, and the students were not allowed to get up until most of the them had finished.
Barcelona – The students only ate a snack and played in the park.
Bowling Green – On the kindergarten field trip we went to Jackson’s Orchard where the students picked pumpkins, went on a hay ride, picked out apples, watched a video about how apple cider is made, and played in the play area at the orchard. They also ate lunch and played at a local park.
5. Rules at the Park:
Barcelona – The students were simply told to stay within a defined area.
Bowling Green – Students were reminded to follow the same rules for the school playground. Some of those rules were don’t throw mulch, don’t climb up the slide, only one person goes down the slide at a time, and do not push or hit the other students.
I would say the biggest difference between the two different cultures was the teacher’s expectations of the students while on the field trip. In America, we are very concerned with communicating how we want the students to behave. We try to address any issues that could arise before they happen. In Spain, it is pretty much the complete opposite. They accept that the children will be loud and energetic. They don’t try to suppress the children and basically deal with the class behaving however they want to. It is really interesting to see the different philosophies of classroom management and how the two cultures handle the same activities or issues differently. I can definitely see how understanding these differences could help me teach students from other cultures in America.