Tips for field trip chaperones
Chaperoning school field trips can be a rewarding chance to spend time with students outside the classroom, but a huge responsibility accompanies the opportunity. If you plan to chaperone a trip, review the following tips to help make your experience successful.
- Use a buddy system. Never let a child go anywhere alone, including the restroom. Man the exits of restrooms to be sure everyone who goes in, comes out.
- Partner with another parent. Two sets of eyes are always better than one, and having another adult with your group comes in handy for bathroom breaks and other detours.
- Carry a cell phone for emergencies, and make sure you have the teacher’s phone number should your group ever get lost from the majority.
- Remind your charges to be respectful. Lay ground rules at the start of the trip so kids know you expect their best behavior.
- Ask questions to engage students in what they are seeing and doing. Help them compare what they are experiencing with what they have learned at school.
- Check with the teacher about allergies and medication. Children may need medication administered during a field trip. If a child keeps an EpiPen for a severe allergy, make sure you know how to use one.
- Note your bus number so you return to the same bus at the conclusion of the trip.
- Wear good walking shoes. It’s important to be able to keep up with kids as they roam, especially in outdoor areas. “Field trips are exhausting,” Sherman says. “You need to be as comfortable as possible.”
By Katie Riley
Photo to right courtesy of the Maryland Science Center.