Every detail counts when you’re preparing a student tour, but nothing’s more important than selecting the right chaperones.
When word seeps out that you’re planning a tour, you’ll rapidly discover that you’re the most popular teacher around (who could have imagined?). Parents and colleagues will pop out of the woodwork to volunteer.
Some will offer cookies.
But wannabe chaperones are not always made of the right stuff to be supports for touring students. That’s why we’ve put together this post sharing the keys to planning your ‘tour team’ (aka chaperones).
Know your policy
If it’s your first time touring with your students, you need to check with administration concerning district policies about chaperones. How many students per chaperone, for example? Add one more to that number.
If one of your students falls ill while you’re touring, you’ll still have the policy-mandated number of chaperones, as one stays behind to nurse your sick traveler.
Also, find out if administration requires a staff member to come on tour with you. Not all school districts have this policy in place, but you need to know before getting started in earnest. One position may have already been spoken for.
Who are these people?
As we’ve pointed out above, not everyone’s chaperone material. Specific attributes make effective chaperones.
A key quality you’re looking for in your chaperones is standing in the school community. Are your candidates engaged and recognized by students and faculty? Are they leaders? Do they regularly volunteer to help with school events?
You’re seeking adults that your students respect and admire and who have some previous experience traveling with groups of young people. You’ll also need at least one chaperone with CPR training, as anything can happen on tour and most districts require this.
Once you’ve gotten together your tour team, you need to discern who on that team are the obvious choices to act as your team leads. There should be two – one female and one male. These two chaperones should model all the qualities and virtues you seek in the general group.
Think about taking along a “rookie”, so that you have a chaperone in training with you. It’s always a good idea to nurture resources like future tour team members and leaders.
It’s important that team members are kept in the loop about all your tour plans, from itinerary to room assignments to their evolving roles and duties.
The tour team is there to assist with tour needs like gathering paperwork and setting up and administering fundraisers for your trip. While on tour, every chaperone should be intimately familiar with your expectations and what you need from them, personally.
De-brief with your group at regular, informal meetings to share information and new aspects of the tour and its itinerary. This creates camaraderie and unity and a tour community which supports the total success of your excursion.
Junior’s been taking students on exceptional learning adventures for over 50 years. When you go with Junior, you go with the best. Contact us.