Yay! It’s field trip time!!!
I went on my first field trip EVER as a teacher during my 6th year of teaching. My first 3 years I taught Pre-K and we didn’t go on any field trips. Then, I moved to second grade and it was COVID. Finally, during the 22-23 school year we were able to go on a field trip!!
My school is very close to the local community college which houses a planetarium and a theatre, so we went there for the day. Now I know this isn’t a HUGE trip, BUT it was a great first trip for me to get my feet wet.
I learned a LOT while we were planning for, and on the trip, so I figured I would share all of my tips and advice with you all!
PS. I will be updating this when we go on a field trip this year if I have more to say!!
Let’s start with BEFORE the trip:
- I think it is super important to be on the same page with your team.
- Make sure you are all handing out the same permission slips, forms, notices on the same days. Less confusion between families, the better!
- Make sure your team is on the same page about procedures and rules for the trip so that it is consistent across all students & families (for example; if one teacher is going to allow students to bring souvenir money, make sure every teacher is)
- Make a checklist so you know who handed back all of their forms, etc.
- If you are going to allow students to bring money for food, souvenirs, etc COLLECT IT BEFOREHAND! This helped so much. We labeled little ziplock bags for each students with their money and gave it to them on the trip when it was time. This also ensures that everyone is going to have money. If a student isn’t going to, maybe you can bring them $1 or $2. I have also heard of parents ‘sponsoring’ other kids, so that might be a possibility.
- Have a packet for each teacher, staff member and chaperone with important/general information regarding the trip. This should include information on each child, their parents phone numbers, and emergency contacts.
- If your school allows, have a nurse come on the trip with you. In my district this is mandatory because of medications, etc.
- Plan bus seating ahead of time! Pair students together that you know will be ok sitting next to each other for a long period of time and not get into trouble!
- Be sure to ask parents if any of their kiddos get carsick so you know to sit them in the front of the bus or have trashcans handy!
- Make a packing list starting a few days before so you can add to it throughout the week as you think of things!
- Pack fidgets and other supports for students that might need it!
- Pack extra waters and snacks.
- Bring walkie talkies if you and the other staff members on the trip will be able to use them to communicate.
- Have students pack their lunches in disposable bags and all disposable material to avoid losing anything or having to bring anything back on the bus.
- Have students wear your school or class colors. This will help you identify who is on your trip while you are there.
- Discuss behavior expectations that you have for on the bus and during the field trip. Be sure to talk about how there will be many adults on the trip that they do not normally come in contact with. It is very important that they listen to ALL of the adults as if they were at school! Also, discuss the importance of staying with their buddy, if you’ve assigned one, or their adult that is supervising.
Now, DURING the trip:
- Make sure that you get the phone numbers of every adult on the trip, or at least the adults that are in charge of your class, so that you can easily communicate with them!
- Take LOTS of pictures & videos. You, your students, and the families will LOVE having these memories!!
- Have fun!! You probably stressed while planning for it, but now you’re here and you might as well enjoy it!! Also, your students are probably having the time of their life, so have fun with them!!
Lastly, AFTER the trip:
- Share all of those fun pictures/videos with the families!
- Have your students reflect on the trip. This is a great time to connect their fun to their learning! Let them share about it during morning meeting the next day, write about it during writing, do a homework assignment reflection sheet, etc!
Remember, field trips are meant to be FUN! Have fun with your students and soak in the fun times!! ENJOY 😀