Year by year the number of field trips and special activities we plan for our students is eroded by the time teachers feel they need to prepare kids for the tests they must take. It's hard to convince colleagues that this or that activity is worth the loss of instructional time in their classes, especially when they are being held accountable for their students performance on all manner of standard assessments.
As much as I sympathize, I just can't get on board with that kind of thinking. Maybe it's because as a writing teacher, I am reminded of Thoreau's observation: How vain it is to sit down to write when you have not stood up to live.
Isn't it our job to show the kids how to stand up to live, too?