Can you remember class trip from back when you were a kid? They were a chance to get out of the daily grind of school for the day and learn about something first hand. It was a fun day as you got to sit on the bus next to your friends and not worry about the hassle of homework for another day. However, you probably did not consider thinking of the class trip through the teacher’s eye until you became a teacher yourself. This makes field trips a whole other story! There is much more planning involved than you ever imagined!
Step One: Find an Interesting Location
At some point it has seemed that class trips have gone from educational to just something to keep the kids busy. It is time to get this train back on the track. Find a location for your class trip that corresponds a bit with the curriculum you are teaching. Make this adventure enjoyable, but also have the students learning along the way. Brainstorm with fellow grade level teachers in an effort to find the perfect location to visit.
Step Two: Approved by Administration
Before you start putting all the plans in motion, you might want to slow down. After all, you first have to get it approved by the administration. While some administrators seem to go along with what the teachers decide, there are those also that tend to want their input on everything. By keeping them in the loop and getting their approval, you won’t have to backtrack at the last moment because of a trip cancellation. Be sure to mention to the administrators how the trip corresponds with your curriculum. They will congratulate you on your choice if you do.
Step Three: Finding the Best Tour Guide
Some students have a way of tuning out their teachers after they have had them for so long. It is nothing against the teacher, it’s just the way it is. You could be the most interesting person in the world, but there are those kids that will glaze over as soon as they have heard your voice for the hundredth time. These same students will brighten up and pay serious attention to when someone new is talking to them. This is why going with a tour guide that knows the location and the history behind it will make this trip one to remember.
Step Four: How to Pay for the Class Trip
If there were no budget issues for class trips, quite a few teachers would choose to send their kiddos to the moon. However, we must keep our financial budget reasonable otherwise this trip will never get off the ground. The school will only provide each grade level so much money and asking for more just because you have a great class trip in mind is futile. You might have to hold a class fundraiser if you need additional money.
Step Five: Find the Right Chaperones
If you are a veteran educator, you realize how it can be difficult to find the right chaperones for the trip. You want to bring along parents that are enjoyable to be around but will also keep the kids in line and add to the educational learning that is happening during the class trip. The last thing you will want is to have to chaperone the chaperones.
Step Six: Pair Up the Students Accordingly
The buddy system seems to work well with students of any age. But the trick is matching up the students correctly. You don’t want to pair up the biggest troublemakers of course, but you also don’t want to partner up the two kids that dislike each other the most. Keep in mind that you want to keep this fun for the kids, but not let it get out of control with craziness.
Step Seven: If This Is a Multi-Day Class Trip Through a Tour Agency, Make Certain They Have Security in Place
Multi-day class trips with high school students can be challenging if you do not have security in place ahead of time. If students are having to stay overnight in a hotel, have the tour agency provide security to ensure there are not students wandering around after hours.
Step Eight: Keep Everyone Connected with Technology
Chaperones should have your phone number just in case something goes wrong when you are not around. Constructing a group text to all the adults that are on the class trip with you will ensure that everyone is on the same page.
Step Nine: Provide a Reason for the Class Trip
Students need to stay active learners during this experience, so give them some assignment for them to complete right before the class trip begins. If they all have cell phones, instruct them that they will be making a Google Slides presentation with the pictures they take during the trip. If they are younger students, create a sheet for a scavenger hunt or something similar where they will be able to find the answers during the trip. Whatever the case, promote learning on this day but keep it fun for everyone involved.
Step Ten: Just Because the Trip Ended Doesn’t Mean You Are Done
You should be able to come up with several lesson plans in almost all subjects and have it relate directly to the class trip adventure. By doing these lessons with the students during the following week, you are making certain they took in as much as possible from the experience.
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