Being a mom is a lot of work, now imagine taking care of an entire group of 4th graders on a field trip, now that’s hard work! Sure, being a chaperone has its perks, you get to have fun with your kid and you get to see how your child does in an educational environment.
For some parents, their first field trip could be frightening. How can you counter these fears? Preparation and anticipation! Thus, I have compiled a list of suggestions on how chaperoning for your kid’s field trip can turn out successful! Who knows, the kids might end up considering you the cool mom.
Know What’s Expected
Usually before departure, parents are briefed on where they’ll be going, what the schedule will look like and what will be expected from them and the students. Sometimes, teachers give chaperones a first aid kit, which is important because most kids are accident prone. If the teacher only has one first aid kit, it’s recommended for chaperones to bring their own, which could save you time if a kid in the group scrapes their knee and you end up looking for the teacher throughout the field trip location.
Some classes sometimes coordinate colors or custom-made shirts, which makes lost kids a lot easier to spot, especially if your destination is a theme park. Create some custom t-shirts to confirm solidarity between your group – you can always take the reigns, with the permission of the teacher and approval (donations) from the parents and order a few shirts for the class. The other chaperones and the teacher(s) will thank you.
Get To Know Your Group
Shortly after arriving to the destination, chaperones will be given a group of students before separating. Make sure to get to know the needs of the students and know their names before continuing the field trip. If special treatment is needed for a student (i.e. medication), make sure you understand proper field trip health and safety procedures. Also, take this time to establish yourself as an authority figure and restate the schedule and what will be needed (rules) from them.
I can be tricky keeping an eye on several students at a time, though, a group usually is no bigger than five. Sometimes, even with color customized shirts, it’s possible to lose a student, that’s why it crucial to keep track of everyone in your group. If someone needs to go to the bathroom, make sure everyone accompanies the student.
Some students, though they may not appear it, are natural born troublemakers and use field trips as excuses to venture off by themselves and misbehave. Usually the teacher assigns these kids to his/her group (unless the parent is the chaperone), but if the kids is assigned to your group, make sure he/she knows about the rules and consequences of breaking those rules. Make them see that classrooms rules still apply on a field trip.
It’s a field trip! It’s supposed to be fun! Listen to the students in your group. If acceptable, take their interests into consideration, whether it’s another turn around the dinosaur exhibition or another spin on the tea cups at Disneyland.
Being a chaperone at a field trip can be hard work, but if properly prepared and taking these suggestions into consideration, you’ll be able have a wonderful time with your child and his/her classmates.