Student travel is a huge topic for teachers and while we don’t pretend we can fit all the deets into one brief blog post, we do hope to illuminate a basic framework for planning that can benefit all teachers.
Whether you’re a newbie, a seasoned educator, student travel requires a steady hand and this post seeks to steady the hand on the controls.
A teacher’s guide to student travel may not be comprehensive, but it’s succinct and helps you plot a course in the right direction.
Finding the Right Destination
Walking into your classroom and announcing the destination you’ve chosen isn’t going to be popular with most of your students. Rather, choose 3 destinations and then treat your students to a brief tour of each and its attractions.
This gives your students the opportunity to chime in and to dream along with you. Encourage group discussion on this item. You may even want to hold a simple essay contest, inviting students to reveal their favorite of the 3 destinations in 500 words or less!
Finding the right destination involves student buy-in, which generates enthusiasm and excitement.
Once you’ve got your destination nailed, you’ll need to turn to the budget. This must prepared before you even think about reaching out to administrators for approval. They’ll need to know the bottom line.
Remember that the biggest line items in your budget are going to be transportation and accommodation. Sewing these up first lets you see how much “play” there is for other items like site tickets and special outings.
Give Your Trip a “Shape”
Your trip needs to have a curricular objective to get it past those administrators we just mentioned. But its shape can be determined to mesh with that and even, expand on it.
Depending on the class you’re taking, you’ll want to highlight an aspect of the curriculum that matches the interests of your students and is perhaps, a little off the beaten path.
Adding a little mystery that serves to illuminate what you’re teaching in new ways is a gift to your students. You’re teaching them to move beyond the obvious and to personalize their learning with insight.
Itinerary, then Approval
Once you’ve got the previous 3 items in hand, you’ll need to write up an itinerary that’s faithful to curricular goals, but which highlights the effectiveness of the chosen destination for imparting the knowledge you need students to absorb.
Go well prepared, taking with you all the information you’ll be asked for about your tour provider, chaperones, guidelines for behavior and other necessary supports.
Remember that administrators are charged with ensuring that the goals of your educational district are satisfied in all you do. Make their job easier by giving them all the information they’ll need to grant you the approval you’re seeking.
Junior Tours has been making education exciting with student travel since 1967. Founded by a teacher, we support educator goals with experiential travel that makes learning fun.
Ready to take your classroom into the world? Contact us!