When I was a fourth grade teacher, we took the entire grade level to the San Fernando Mission and a professional Nutcracker ballet performance (not on the same day, of course). One year, we even went to the California Science Center. I have a lot of amazing memories. However, I also have some bad ones (but I’ll get to that later). Being a chaperone for a field trip is a big responsibility. Here are a few tips on how to be a good one.
Dress for the Occasion
I’ll never forget the time one of my chaperones wore a skimpy top without a bra. It was quite inappropriate and embarrassing for both the students and myself. When chaperoning, it’s important to wear modest clothing. If you are going to the zoo or an outdoor destination, you should dress comfortably. If you are going to a play or museum, you should dress a tad nicer. Still, remember you will be with children so wear flat-soled shoes. In general, you should avoid overly baggy pants, short skirts, shirts showing your midsection or any shirts advertising liquor, drugs or inappropriate language/gestures.
Follow the Rules
When we went to see the Nutcracker Ballet, the ushers asked everyone to refrain from taking pictures or videos inside the auditorium. However, I had one parent who would not listen and kept trying to tape the performance. After having several ushers and teachers tell him to please put his camera away, he finally did. It was embarrassing. As a chaperone, the last thing you want to do is cause problems. Follow the rules so you can be a good example to the students.
Listen to the Teacher
As a parent, I was able to go on a pumpkin patch field trip with my daughter. Although I am a credentialed teacher, I always listen to my daughter’s teacher. After all, it is not my classroom or my home. In other words, I’m not running the show. Teachers may have different rules or insight into the field trip location. Listen for what he or she says about bathroom use, when the class will be having a snack/lunch and behavior. If you listen well, you can help answer children’s questions.
Watch the Kids
It’s likely you are chaperoning to spend some quality time with your child, grandchild, etc. However, as a chaperone, you should also be helping watch the children. For instance, make sure kids aren’t going to the bathroom by themselves or straying from the group. On the other hand, don’t be too bossy!
Follow these tips and you’ll be an A+ chaperone!
More from Melissa:
Tips From an Educator: 8 Thoughtful Teacher Appreciation Week Ideas
How to Show Your Grade-Schooler That Math Is Fun
End of the Year Activities for Elementary School