I consider myself a teacher that steps outside of the box. I am always searching for any possible additions, activities, trips, or extra things that would benefit my students. However, recently I submitted a proposal to my principal about traveling to Europe in summer 2010. He asked me all kinds of questions (which he should) but then told me a bunch of horror stories about trips and told me "don't get me fired for this." I realize he has a right to be concerned and he's in his first year. But I am taking careful steps to plan the trip and I feel like he's trying to discourage me already. I also signed my students up for the Euro Challenge, a competition that will take place in Chicago (250 miles from my town) in March. Again it seemed like a red flag went up; I have to get school board approval since the trip is over 100 miles. Is this why some teachers don't bother to do extra things? Because of all the red tape and paperwork involved? For both of these ventures I am required to submit a lengthy form that includes minute-by-minute details on what we will be doing. Especially for the Chicago trip, I'm somewhat surprised- I figured it was a competition that you filled out a field trip request for, but apparently not. So what do you think- are administrators wary of teachers that are not content to do "normal" things?