You've signed up to be a chaperone for your child's next field trip. Now you're thinking - "What have I gotten myself into???"
I've been on my fair share of field trips and I must say that I take my responsibilities very serious. These kids are depending on me and you, as their chaperone, to get them back to school safe and unharmed. The teachers and principal is expecting us to keep them behaved and on task.
Most field trip chaperones are assigned 2 to 6 students, depending on their age and where they're going. Since you will be responsible for more than just your child here are a few tips to keep in mind.
1. Do a Little Research
Know where you are going. Obvious - I know, but humor me. Go online. Find and print out a map. Search for "great things to see at ___".
2. Get the Teacher's cell phone number
Ask for the teacher's or leader's name and cell phone in case of an emergency. Just in case you get lost, miss the bus, a child gets sick or hurt. It's always better to be safe than sorry.
3. Keep an Eye on Your Kids
Help make sure your group stays on their best behavior. Encourage them to patiently wait their turn - no cutting in line or pushing. Everyone is there to have learn and have fun.
Watch the kids in your group closely because unfortunately there are evil people in the world out to specifically hurt kids. You, as a chaperone, are responsible for other parent's kids and they are trusting you to look out for their loved one. Their lives depend on you.
4. Pair Up with Other Chaperones
Make friends with other chaperones, and walk around as one big group, if possible. This is really useful if you have both girls and boys in your group. One chaperone could wait outside the restrooms while girls and boys go in. That way the kids aren't alone and wandering around when they are done.
5. Be on Time
Make a note of the time you are supposed to meet for lunch or back at the bus. Also right down the bus number and what bus company because there could be more than one.
6. Bring Extras
When traveling with kids it helps to bring tissues or wipes for those messes that are sure to happen. Also consider bring a little extra money or food for lunch or snacks just in case any of the kids lose theirs.
Remember kids will be kids. Let them have fun and try to find a safe way for them to use up some energy.
Being a chaperone is almost always an adventure - let's make it a great one.