For students, school trips are always some of the most memorable parts of their schooling life. On the other hand, most teachers find themselves panicking at the thought of a school trip. Add to the mix a long-haul journey and we’re in a different dimension.
The number one guarantee for a successful trip is having a detailed plan. This will ensure that you and your students have a hitch-free experience. Here are a few tips to help you ensure that you and your students get the most out of any trip, even those overseas.
1. Plan Properly
To pull off any endeavour successfully, it is important to plan properly before execution. This also applies to school trips as well.
For younger students, trips are always associated with escape from the confines of their school environment and a chance to have a good time. Trips for older students, on the other hand, are always connected to a specific learning objective.
It is very important to plan ahead of time, planning around the category of students under your care. It is also crucial that you know everything and anything about your chosen destination.
If possible, visit the venue ahead of time and take a look at the important things that are likely to directly affect or have some added benefits for both the students and your objectives of being there. Map out the possible places around where you can get lunch, consider what will be most cost-effective, and will fit into your budget to avoid overspending.
Developing a schedule of activities and sticking to them while on the trip…. This can aid in ensuring that everything goes according to plan. Write down an itinerary list of activities to be carried out on the trip, review them beforehand, and make copies for the students as well as other chaperones going on the trip with you.
2. Prepare your students for the trip
Experience has proven that students adapt and learn more on trips if they can relate it with the things that they have already learned in class. For older students, you can try introducing topics that touch on the objectives of the field trip weeks before embarking on it.
Another good way to do this is by developing activities related to the trip. These activities can be carried out at the site of the trip or can easily be used as post-trip exercises.
Remember to notify the students to leave behind anything that is not allowed on the trip. Also advise them to avoid coming with items that can easily be lost, such items as toys, mp3 players, video games and other items that are easy to misplace in the excitement that comes from the idea of a trip.
3. Ensure that everyone knows and understands the rules
Before embarking on the trip, you should endeavour to prepare a set of Trip Rules which will serve as a form of guidance for both students, teachers, and everyone else going on the trip. Review these rules and, if possible, make students sign it as a requirement for getting a chance on the trip.
4. Choose your chaperones wisely
In the excitement, teachers can’t be everywhere at the same time. That is why you need extra hands, in the form of field trip chaperones.
You can ask for volunteers about 2 to 3 weeks before the trip. This is a good way to ensure that everyone is prepared for what is ahead. It will also help you make the right decision as to who should be in your crew as well as help you make other backup plans.
It is also very important that you enlighten chaperones as to your expectations from them as well as the jobs they are expected to perform.
Tools that you may want to provide your chaperones with include:
- Nametags for all students and chaperones.
- The day’s list of activities, special rules as well as mobile numbers of students on the trip.
- Well labelled grocery bags that each chaperone can use to hold student’s lunch and any other paraphernalia.
5. Be prepared for anything!
Be flexible with your plans as well as the trip itself. It pays to have a backup plan for every step that will be taken. Ensure that you are aware of everything that may happen within every calculated hour. This will help you keep ahead of your plans and also know what to expect along the way, and how to tackle any unforeseen problem that may arise.
Ensure that you arrive at school early enough on the day of the trip. Try not to rush things to minimise errors. Review the rules in front of the student and make sure that everyone understands what is expected of them.
Special considerations for overnight and overseas trips
Sometimes, you may find that you cannot satisfy all the objectives of a trip in just one day. Here are some rules to adopt when dealing with a situation like this or one that involves an overseas trip.
- Only the students that you trust should be in attendance.
- Look for assistance as you can’t handle all the details on your own. You are bound to miss out on some tiny details if you do it all on your own.
- Never forget how amazing this experience is for the students. Try to make them relax and have a great time as well.
Tips from the experts
Mike Hanski, teach & online tutor for high school students with Bid4Papers
“Students should be enriched in a way that can’t be read in their textbooks.”
A school trip is meant for students to experience the outside world first-hand. They should be enriched in a way that can’t be read in their textbooks.
To ensure the productivity of a school trip, here are some ways:
Set clear goals: Define what you want your students to achieve outside of the classroom. At the end of the day, they should be able to learn something new or adapt a new skill.
Give them more freedom: Students can get to know themselves better when doing non-classroom activities. They can interact with their peers more and even take on leadership roles.
Manage their expectations: This falls under proper preparation of the trip. By managing your students’ expectations and orienting them about what happens, they will know how to behave and conduct themselves better.
Need some more help? Or perhaps you are interested in some of the long-haul sports tours we provide for schools? Inspiresport can take all the hassle out of organising a sports tour or ski trip. So get in touch today to find out more!