One of the more daunting parts of being a teacher or school official is managing the ‘school trip.’ No matter whether it’s a visit to the nearest museum for the afternoon or a one-week trip abroad, every visit comes packaged with huge responsibility and a mass of potential issues and concerns for those in charge. After all, wherever you go and whatever you do, you’re carrying an extremely precious cargo with you.
The good news is successfully planning and actioning such a trip ties into the key skills you already have as an educator, so there’s no need to be too scared of the adventure. Here’s how to ensure the best possible time for both you and the kids.
Early Planning is Key
Like any big event, planning well in advance is key to ensuring success on the day. Ideally, planning for a bigger trip should begin up to a year in advance of the event itself. This gives you time to figure out all the possible eventualities, understand the location and create a clear and concise schedule. Essentially, it’s a big enough window for you to leave no stone unturned.
It also gives the parents time to save and budget for the trip if it’s a bigger, more expensive excursion, as well as giving the kids something to look forward to and behave for.
A Clear Itinerary & Communication
The structuring of your itinerary for the trip needs to be to military standards. Timings, activities and any additional information need to be laid out in the clearest possible terms to prevent mishaps involving kids not showing up on time, bringing the wrong clothes and equipment or, worse, losing a child.
While the kids need it spelling out to them for their own safety and understanding, parents will also want clear instruction around what’s going on as well. Letting the parents in on the schedule and where the kids will be and when will save a lot of worry and stress on both their and your ends.
Prepare for the Worst
Without sounding too doom and gloom, it’s important you’re ready for any emergency, starting with preventative measures through to knowing the protocol if something does go wrong. No matter how much planning you’ve done, children are unpredictable and things can happen, so make sure you’ve done all you can to negate any issues.
Make sure you’re up to speed with and adhering to all health and safety standards. Use quality and reliable transport for the trip; Allied Fleet is a renowned provider. Utilize enough staff resources to adequately monitor the group at all times and have backup planning in place in case of delays, extreme weather, and injury or illness.
Of course, if you’ve planned properly, the worst is unlikely to happen, but you should be prepared for any eventuality.
Learn & Move Forward
Once the trip is done and dusted and everyone’s home safely, don’t rest on your laurels. Seek feedback on the trip and build on it. What do the kids have to say? Do the parents have concerns? What are the support staffs thoughts? What do you think?
Use this feedback to identify to understand what went wrong and identify areas for improvement. Even if there were no glaring mistakes, tuning the finer details will give you an advantage for next time, so listen to what everyone has to say.
As with all these sorts of things, the experience is key. The more you do it, the better you will get. And bear in mind; no one is expecting you to be perfect. You do, however, have an incredibly important job of keeping a group of children safe, and this is the main goal you should keep in sight as you plan the trip ahead.