Field trips are an integral part of a student’s education. Whether it’s a day outing or an educational getaway, field trips should be fun, engaging, and safe. With the current climate surrounding safety within the educational system in the United States, it’s especially important to plan field trips meticulously. New teachers and experienced veterans alike can benefit from checking these boxes when planning their next field trip.
Decide Where You’re Going
This may seem like common sense, but to justify your field trip to the school district, parents, and students, your trip must be educational in some way. If you’re a history teacher, consider all the local historic landmarks you could take your students to. Science teachers can take theirclasses to museums, economic teachers can take their students to local businesses – the options are limitless, as long as the trip and activities align with what you’re teaching your class.
Depending on the scope of your trip, you may need to start planning as far as a year in advance. For example, if you’re planning a trip to another country, you’ll need to notify parents and orchestrate a way for students to obtain travel visas and passports. Conversely, if you’re heading to a local museum, you’ll need to send out permission slips and book a bus for your field trip. You’ll also need to make sure the trip aligns with your academic calendar.
Be Wary Of Cost
As you’re working through the logistics of your field trip, including transportation and admission, be mindful of the total cost you’re expecting students and their families to cover. This is especially true if you’re working within a budget provided by the school. If the trip is going to be costly, consider hosting a fundraiser or two to generate excitement and money to help cut the total cost.
You can’t take your students anywhere without the proper permissions. This includes approval from your administrator. To do so, draft a proposal that provides all the information about the trip, including how it will be educational to students and relate back to the curriculum you’re teaching.
Prep Your Students
As a teacher, it’s important to ensure your trip aligns with your lesson plans. Just like you would a lesson, set objectives for the trip. Plan activities around the things you’ve taught in the classroom so that your students connect their experiences with their education.
Prep The Parents, Too
Notifying the parents of your students about everything from the logistics of the trip to what to pack and the lessons to be learned is of paramount importance. Hold an assembly to keep parents informed. Allow plenty of time to field questions and concerns they may have. Create an itinerary. Regardless of the length of your trip, you’ll need to plan a schedule for the take. Take your curriculum, student interest, and time into consideration when doing so. If your trip takes place over a long period of time (a weekend, two weeks, etc.), budget time accordingly, leaving room for free time.
Typically, students must meet educational requirements to attend a field trip. This means they’re in good standing with the school academically, have all the required permission forms
signed, and completed any kind of activities you outlined must be completed prior to the trip.
The whole point of working this hard to orchestrate a trip is to have fun with your students. Watch all of your hard work pay off – take your students on an educational field trip!