Field Trips: A Class Bonding Opportunity
Use field trips — school-sponsored journeys to educational sites outside the school — as an opportunity to share exciting extracurricular experiences with your students. Certainly, the work's hard and the hours can be brutal — you might get home at 9 p.m., for instance — but you also might give your kids a learning adventure they'll never forget. Museums, theatres, zoos, and much more offer you a chance to laugh with your kids and discover new sights with them.
Always pay attention to safety if you want to enjoy a successful field trip. Carry a notepad and pen with you to write down information such as:
The first and last name of every kid in your assigned group
The number of the bus to which you'll be returning later
The names of parent volunteers who are accompanying your group
Important times, such as the hour when everyone must return to the bus
Meeting places and times where groups will rendezvous
Also, carry a small backpack stocked with essential items, including:
Completed field-trip slips for every kid in your group, with emergency phone numbers
Plastic water bottles
Breakfast bars and fruit snacks
A first-aid kit
Lots of resealing plastic bags — there's always a use for these little guys
Additionally, stay sharp during your field trip so that you don't make blunders. A common error is to lead students across an intersection on a green light, and when the light turns red, allow students to continue pouring into the intersection. That's an accident begging to happen. Also, teachers sometimes fail to count the kids in their assigned group, with the result that a kid wanders off and isn't found for hours. Another error is for buses to depart without a teacher counting every student. When someone yells, “Jen's missing!” the bus has to turn around and retrieve her.
Of course, as with school dances, make certain you recall your primary duty during extracurricular outings — to keep kids safe. Parents are depending on your professionalism to protect their children. Stay alert, don't allow problems to develop, and regularly count your students to make sure no one's missing.
Treat field trips as an extracurricular duty where you might learn nearly as much as your students, perhaps giving all of you something to write about and talk about for many months.