Field Trip Fun for Everyone: Preparing for the Best Field Trip
There is no doubt that field trips are an educational and fun way to break up the monotony of the school day, but preparing for and carrying out a field trip can leave even the savviest teachers frazzled. However, don’t let the challenges dissuade you from packing up your students and heading out on a road trip. The following tricks and tips are perfect for making your field trip a fun, exciting, and educational event for everyone.
- Make the proper preparations! There are times when you may opt to take students on an overnight field trip. This can be done successfully and quite easily if you make the appropriate preparation. Contact the hotel where you will be staying to make certain they can safely accommodate a group of students. Contact locations that you will be visiting and confirm dates and times so that you can make an itinerary. Contact restaurants before you leave to make sure they can accommodate a group of students. Keep a detailed list of everyone that you talk to on your itinerary in case any problems were to occur.
- Make absolutely certain that you have up to date emergency contact information for each child as well as any pertinent medical information including allergies, chronic health conditions, and routine medications that may be important in an emergency. If something were to happen, you do not want to be searching through papers and calling the school for this type of information.
- Prepare students and their parents for what will take place. Tell your students about the place you will be visiting, what they will be doing, and provide pictures if possible. Discuss possible scenarios if applicable. Make them aware of the rules and behavior expectations before you leave on your field trip. Reiterate the rules upon arrival at your destination especially staying with the group and keeping your hands to yourself. If students will be expected to complete any tasks or forms such as a scavenger hunt, hand out paperwork before getting off the bus and make certain everyoneunderstands the instructions.
- If you have parents that are chaperoning the trip make them clear of what you expect of them as well. If they will have groups of students that are responsible for make certain they know the name of each child and feel comfortable with them in their care. Also, be sure to let them know that they should refer all disciplinary issues to yourself or another teacher. It is a great idea to give them your cell phone number for easy contact if groups will be split up.
- Keep the students engaged in the activities and moving at a reasonable pace. Many experienced teachers will tell you that the busier you keep students, the less likely they are to get in trouble. Place the students in small groups with an appropriate chaperone. Have groups start at different exhibits so that they can rotate relatively quickly through the activities. This keeps them constantly moving instead of getting backed up behind each other. Remember the more they move, the less they tend to get in trouble.
- Take advantage of travel time to talk about what the students may potentially see on this field trip, rules, and anything else you feel is important for students to be aware of. Allow them to ask questions so that when you arrive at your destination all housekeeping matters are pretty much taken care of. On the way back to the school discuss what the children saw, what they learned, and what they liked or disliked about the field trip. This is also a great time to supplement the information they learned on their trip.
Field trips are a fun learning experience if they are handled correctly. This requires careful preparation by the teacher, but the end results are well worth the effort when you see how much your students have enjoyed their field trip. What was your favourite class field trip? How have you found are the best ways to deal with the stress of field trip preparation?