Planning a successful (and educational) field trip for 2018 is all about the prep. Having an organized, systematic plan for getting all your ducks in a row is the way to ensure that your field trip will go off without a hitch and your students will derive maximum benefit from the learning it highlights.
Here are our favorite tips for planning a successful (and educational) field trip for 2018.
Why are you going?
You’re an educator, so you know field trips are about more than getting out of the classroom for a day. They’re about learning. But what do you hope to achieve, in educational terms?
You need to be very clear about that, when seeking approval from your Board. Make sure that your presentation to the Board includes concise and coherent information about your goals for students on the field trip.
Go prepared with projected learning outcomes, aligning these with the Standard Course of Study to ensure you get approval. This is your first step and without it, you’re not going anywhere.
Prepping your students.
Your field trip is part of a curricular plan that demands students take away necessary outcomes. Introducing the trip you’re planning as part of a classroom lesson highlights its educational purpose.
Build enthusiasm by providing photographs, videos and other materials which introduce your students to the site you’re planning to visit. Enlist the help of students from other classes who’ve already visited the site and invite them in to speak to your class about what they learned.
Be sure to clearly delineate your expectations for student behavior. Creating a handout which states your expectations in this regard is crucial, as there will be no excuses for forgetting key elements of your “rules of engagement”when everything’s in writing.
Develop a clear itinerary, then ask students to sign it. This will serve as a contract between you and your group. You agree to provide the educational content and the students agree to approach the field trip as an opportunity to learn.
Create a checklist of what students should pack. Discuss suitable footwear and other key items students are going to need for the destination, to ensure they’re fully prepared.
Prepping everyone else.
Now that your Board has agreed to the field trip and you’re getting your students ready, attend to the nuts and bolts, like parental permission.
Your parental permission form is an ideal opportunity to generate interest from potential chaperones, so don’t forget to float the possibility when the form is sent home with students. Invite them on board.
Once you have commitments, prepare your chaperones for the role. A brief meeting in the runup to the trip will help you get to know them and get them ready for what you need from them while you’re out there.
Junior Tours has been making field trips easier for teachers for 50 years. Founded by a teacher in 1967, we personalize itineraries, crafting them to your group and educator objectives.