Chaperoning school outings can be a fun, rewarding experience and is a great way to give back to your school community. Schools just cannot provide these educational outings without the help and support of parent chaperones. If you have a child attending the school, being a chaperone will allow you to observe your child in other environments and to see how they interact with their peers. It’s also the ideal opportunity to get to know your child’s care providers or teachers as well as their friends and classmates. Most schools have their own policies with regard to field trip chaperones.
This post will address the top tips for surviving a school trip as a chaperone:
1. Have a chat with a teacher, principal or school secretary to see what the policy is regarding becoming a chaperone for school outings. Each school is different, but you may be required to fill in a form or perhaps apply for a criminal records check before accompanying the children on a trip.
2. There may also be varying procedures for different schools within your province. For example, a pre-school may differ from a primary school and a secondary school will almost certainly have a separate set of rules.
3. Get organized and find out the correct dates and exact times of the school trips you will be required to supervise. Enquire what you will need to do and what will be expected of you. You may be asked to arrive early to help pack up the bus or to stay late to clean or unpack. Research your destination and find out whether you will need any special equipment, clothing or footwear. Always dress suitably for the occasion and destination.
4. Follow the instructions carefully and know what is expected of you. You may be required to supervise children on a bus, to walk with a small group of youngsters or to drive them to the trip destination yourself. If you are required to drive the children, please check with the school that you have the appropriate motor insurance policy. You could also be asked to help with lunches and drinks.
5. Learn about the school’s discipline policy and what will be expected of you. Should you reprimand a child if you see them misbehaving? Should you have a quiet word or just tell a member of the school staff so they can address the issue? Either way, never lose your temper with a child and do not raise your hand under any circumstances.
Here are a few other suggestions for ultimate school trip survival:
Do a little research on your destination. If you know about the place you are visiting, you will be more confident in answering the children’s questions.
Be patient; even if you have been asked the same question a hundred times, smile and answer politely!
Young children are more likely to need extra help and encouragement than their older counterparts. Older children may be more self-reliant, but they also need close supervision to ensure they are safe.
Above all, enjoy yourself. Children who see an adult having a good time are more likely to enjoy the trip themselves and will be more willing to learn.