Planning a school field trip can be daunting for teachers and chaperones. From deciding on a destination to securing financing and school field trip transportation, the list of to-dos seems to be never-ending. However, field trips in school are some of the students’ most cherished memories and present a unique opportunity to experience what they have learned in the classroom in the real world. The efforts are well worth the reward. To make organizing school trips less stressful, we have gathered the eight steps to planning a field trip to make this task a breeze.
Benefits of School Field Trips for Education
Although planning field trips significantly adds to the workload of teachers and educators already stretched thin by their daily duties, they also offer significant benefits for students that make it all worth it. Here are some of the benefits of field trips for students:
- Improving critical thinking skills: During a class field trip, students can acquire essential soft skills like problem-solving and communicating, which are critical in an ever-changing world.
- Applying knowledge outside the classroom: Students will have a unique opportunity to experience their lesson in real-life situations, encouraging their love of learning.
- Reinforcing classroom bounds: The shared memories of a field trip for school will encourage students to create new connections with each other and their teachers.
- Encouraging new forms of learning: From applying previously acquired knowledge to learning informally by doing, field trips in school are a great way to help students who need more hands-on teaching.
If you are wondering how to plan a school trip, these eight steps to planning a field trip will put you on the road to success.
#1. Decide on Your Field Trip Destination
Deciding on your class field trip destination may be the most important part of planning a school trip. Whether you are aiming for a day visit to a nearby museum or an out-of-state bus trip, make sure that your destination supports the curriculum and is age-appropriate to keep students happy and engaged. You will also need to take the logistics, such as cost, services, and opening days, to ensure that you do not run into issues later. Do not hesitate to brainstorm ideas with colleagues to get feedback on their experiences with some of your options.
#2. Discuss Your Trip with the Administration
Before getting your students’ hopes up, clear the feasibility of your field trip with your administration. Put all the chances on your side by having a detailed plan of your idea, including the financial impact, how the destination may benefit the students in relation to the curriculum, which days may be best, and so on.
Although there is nothing more frustrating than planning a field trip for your hard work to go to waste, being on the administration’s good side and being able to answer all of their questions is essential to your success.
#3. Prepare Parents and Students for the Trip
Once you have worked out the details of your class field trip and received the benediction from higher authorities, it is time to let your students (and their parents) know about the upcoming event. Hold a meeting and encourage them to sign up early so you can plan your school trip better.
#4. Establish the Rules for Your Trip
Once you announce your plan for your field trip for school, your students will likely be very excited. However, to ensure the success of your adventure, it is often best to set up the ground rules from the get-go to avoid any disappointments or misbehaviors.
Make sure that your students are aware of the rules to attend the class field trip, such as forms to fill and sign, appropriate clothing, and behavior expectations. The parents should also be aware of these expectations and be prepared to enforce any consequences – such as holding the student back – if they are not confident that the child can respect the rules.
#5. Plan for the Food
Deciding on what – and where – students will eat is an essential part of planning school trips. The easiest route for a day trip is having students bring their lunch, which makes it easier to respect dietary restrictions and keep costs low. However, you will still need to figure out where the students will go for lunch, especially in case of inclement weather.
You can also organize an outing to a restaurant, whether an on-site cafeteria or an off-site restaurant. Your choice should be large enough to accommodate large groups and provide an appropriate and affordable menu.
#6. Finalize the Trip Schedule
When organizing school trips, you will be required to provide a detailed timeline of the activities and how long each one will take. You will also need to account for how long it will take to go from one location to another, whether within the same site or between locations. Remember that moving large groups of distracted students can be particularly tricky. Make sure that the time you allocate for each activity is realistic and in line with your student’s attention span. It can also be a good idea to plan for buffer zones allowing students to relax and accommodate delays.
#7. Make Sure Your Trip Is Tied to the Curriculum
Field trips in school should be tied to the overall learning experience. Although they are also an opportunity to have fun and relax, they should serve as a support for past or future lessons, deepening your students’ understanding of the subject and helping them to get excited to learn more about it.
Some class field trip destinations already have age-appropriate learning activities, but it may be a good idea to prepare some assignments to complete during the trip. You should also include some reading or research in class on the destination so your students understand the background better.
#8. Be Prepared for Anything
Taking your students outside the classroom can be a stressful ordeal both for you and them. When planning a field trip for school, make sure you leave room in your schedule for the unexpected, whether that means delays, forgotten items, or more. Make sure that your planning allows for flexibility, set up a plan B just in case, and do not hesitate to send reminders regularly to hopefully avoid some of these issues if possible.
Contact Infinity Transportation for Your Field Trip Charter Bus!
We hope that these eight steps to planning a field trip helped make your organization as stress-free as possible. The final step to the success of your field trip for school is to hire the services of a reliable school event transportation company, which will ensure that all your students reach their destination safely while keeping the cost of your adventure low.
We offer a wide range of coaches and buses in Chicago, IL, to take your class anywhere. Do not hesitate to contact us for a personalized quote or for any additional questions you may have regarding how to plan a school trip.