It would be great it everything went according to plan, but unfortunately Murphy’s Law will come a long and make whatever can go wrong, completely fail. Just as it happens in life, so does it happen in education. When that happens parents are the key to a school having success.
As your child progresses through their education they will have opportunities to go on field trips starting as early as kindergarten and progressing until graduation.
Chaperones Are Great But…
The best way to help and ensure that your child has a safe and enjoyable experience when they go on a field trip is to be involved as a parent. Most parents think the only way to be involved is to be a chaperone. That is not true.
The chaperones are the last part of the field trip that a teacher needs help with. The planning and fund raising are the most crucial parts and usually the parts the teacher has to do alone.
I recently took my band on a trip to Atlanta, GA. I had a wonderful group of parents. We met before the trip was even a definite possibility. I wanted to make sure all parents were open to the idea of the trip and I wanted to find answers to questions before they were even asked.
Helping the Teacher Answer Questions
This was the first time the band has taken an over night field trip. While I have taken my other bands on over night trips this was something entirely new to this community.
I had to get answers to important questions like:
- How to get the information to all parents?
- What the best fundraisers would be for our community and families?
- Would all families be able to afford to send their child?
- If a family can’t afford to send their child, how can that child get help?
Some teachers, especially new teachers, don’t understand the community enough to be able to answer those questions. That is where they need helpful parents.
Field Trip Contingency and Compassion
Because, I had strong parent involvement as we planned the trip I found that I didn’t have to worry about any contingency plans. Parents knew what to expect because they had a say in process.
Parents who were chaperones knew what the school expected because they were able to come familiar with the school’s policies and field trip guidelines as well. Because of the parents understood some of the complicated rules that schools have showed compassion as we took extra time to make sure that we were in compliance with those rules.
In the end if you use your compassion as a parent and become involved to ensure that all children, including your child, has a great experience from the planning aspect of the trip to trip itself teachers and families won’t need to worry about many contingency plans.
So next time your child comes home and says the teacher is planning to take a field trip send a note in to see how you can help support the school and offer your talents where you can.