With additional inputs from Mrs. Nusheen Irfan, Al-Jubail International Indian School, Jubail, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia
Going on a field trip is a delightful experience for children because they get to leave school for a day and explore new and different places. Field trips educate and entertain kids and generally are a fantastic way to combine fun and learning. For teachers however, field trips are a whole different ball game where things can very quickly go wrong. Therefore, here are few things that teachers should keep in mind before going on field trips.
1. A Parent-No-Objection Form – Ask your students to get their parents’ signature on a no-objection form which gives the school permission to take the children on a field trip. The form should consist of details like the trip’s date, name of the place, name of the teacher who is organizing the trip etc.
Parents can also fill in extra details like any special needs their child might have such as a child being prone to travel sickness, allergies or fainting spells etc. This is in case something happens to the child, the teacher will be prepared. Having a no-objection form from parents acts as a confirmation that you are taking a child to the field trip only with the consent of the parents.
2. Divide Children into groups and assign a monitor – Taking a class of about 40-50 students to a field trip is a not an easy task. It is not possible for a teacher to check on each and every student throughout the trip. So divide your class into groups and select a child to act as the monitor from each group. Assign responsibilities to the group monitors, like checking if every student of their group is present, informing the teacher about any problem faced by the group members etc. This way teachers can keep track of all their students without fretting.
3. Tell the children about the place they are going to visit – Before going to the field trip, inform your students about the place they are going to visit. This helps them to be prepared for the trip. You can also ask them to bring along certain other items like hats, food etc depending on the place you are going to visit.
4. Always keep a first-aid with you – When going on field trips, always take an emergency first-aid kit with you. The first aid kit should consist of material like adhesive bandages, anti-septic crème/liquid, pain relief sprays, cotton balls, thermometer etc. keep antibiotics and medication for fever, cough etc in the medical kit. Children are usually injury prone even if they dont mean to get injured. Having a first-aid kit means that in case a student has a tumble or a fall, you can take care of it.
5. Have fruit juices and energy drinks ready in case of any dehydration – With the excitement of travelling, students forget to stay hydrated and as a consequence get exhausted easily. Keeping fruit juice or glucose water with you at all times so that when you see any student who is pale and listless, you will have something to give them, rather than frantically hunting for a shop nearby.
6. Let the children know before-hand what to do incase they get separated from the group – Before going on a field trip, make sure that children are aware of the place they are visiting (at least some of the highlights of that place). After reaching the destination set an easy meeting point which can be reached without anyone’s guidance. Ask your students to reach the preset meeting point without panicking, in case they are lost from their group.
7. Safe transportation – When you are taking your students on a field trip, as a teacher, choosing a safe mode of transportation is also your responsibility. Instead of hiring private vehicles, school buses that children travel in daily are safer and more preferable. It is also important that the driver is responsible and experienced.
8. Have an assistant accompany you – A teacher can easily handle a group of students in a classroom but on a field trip handling them alone is simply impossible! Therefore, you should take an assisstant along with you so that you have someone to help you keep the students safe and keep them in line as well.
9. Educate children with safety tips for the trip – Before taking your students on a field trip, take some time and explain to them about the dangers they may face in the trip and how they should overcome them. Teach them to stay away from strangers and not to accept any gifts from them. Ask them to always stay with their group and to stay away from danger zones and to stay within your sight.
How do you deal with field trips? Are there any other precautions you take before going on one? Do comment with your suggestions and opinions in the comments section below!