It takes a well-prepared group of chaperones to make the most of any field trip or educational tour. Before you hit the road, take time to meet with your reinforcements to make sure expectations are clear and that everyone has what they need to make it a great experience.
Here are seven things you should cover during a meeting with your chaperones.
1. The schedule - Hand out a prepared schedule that includes important times and locations. If you are heading to a single destination, you may want to include a map or floorplan to point out meeting places and pick-up/drop-off locations. Include information about meal times and emphasize the importance of everyone sticking to the schedule for the sake of the group.
2. Student list and paperwork - Be prepared with a list of students assigned to each chaperone. Include any paperwork that might be useful for the chaperone to carry, like parent phone numbers and emergency medical forms. Also provide a list to the person who will be supervising the stay-back group to help prepare for the day back at school. Click to the read a post about What To Do For Students Who Don't Go On The Field Trip.
3. Medications - Prepare a list of students who need medications and a schedule for dispensing them. Each chaperone should be given a medication list for students in the group, a dispensing schedule, and a plastic bag with the medication inside that is clearly marked with student names.
4. Phone numbers - Distribute a list of chaperone cell phone numbers and the school’s phone number. Ask chaperones to double-check their numbers and correct as needed. If you are working with an educational tour company, include the number for the company's emergency contact line.
5. Assignments - If students are completing an assignment related to the field trip, provide a copy to the chaperones so they can be prepared to support their student group.
6. Behavior expectations - Review the behaviors you expect from students so everyone is on the same page, including procedures for dealing with behavior issues and consequences. If there are specific duties, responsibilities, or guidelines for chaperones, be clear during the meeting. What is acceptable or appropriate might need to be explained depending on who is chaperoning no matter how logical or common sense it may seem to you as the teacher. Click to read 12 Must-Read Hotel Guidelines For Student Travel Groups.
7. Appreciation - Sometimes a small token of appreciation can go a long way. A water bottle and a granola bar wrapped with a bow to say “thanks” for chaperoning will let chaperones know you appreciate the time and energy they are giving.
Chaperones are an important part of are the experience your students will have on the field trip or educational tour, so making sure they are ready will make all the difference. After a successful meeting, its time to concentrate on having a great time with your group.