by Nyasia Burgos, AmeriCorps member serving on the DePuy Synthes team with Orchard Gardens K-8 Pilot School
When you’re serving in an elementary classroom, field trips are inevitable. I think back to my own elementary school days when I had field trips and I remember the excitement that I had and how much I looked forward to being outside of the school for the day and being able to explore and learn outside of the classroom. My main thoughts when preparing for field trips now, are just making sure that the students that I am chaperoning are safe and with me at all times. Obviously, follow the instructions of your partner teacher and school administration. But here are some best practices from my own experience on how to survive your first field trip and to enjoy your time with your students outside of the classroom.
1. Use the buddy system. Using the buddy system is very useful. Pairing students up in twos (or threes if you have an odd number of students) will be very useful and helps when you are doing head counts. Be mindful of the students you pair together because if you pair two students who do not get along, you will regret it for the rest of the day.
2. Speaking of headcounts, do them often. Especially if you are taking public transportation. Always be mindful and treat your students the way you would want a trusted adult to treat any young people in your life.
3.Stay in control and all times and be consistent. You don’t want to cause any confusion. Let your expectations be known early on and stick with your rules!
4. Make sure to enjoy yourself too! While it may be frightening for many during the beginning (or until you are back on school grounds) of the trip, enjoy this time out of the classroom with your students. There may be one field trip or five, but just be sure you make the best of it and have fun with your students!