Field TripsHow to plan good field trips for students and list some safety issues that teachers need to care of?
In regards to safety it is important to have enough adult supervision for the number of children you have in the group. That number would vary depending on the age and subsequent independence of the children. For example, if you had class of first graders at a zoo, you would want one adult for each small group of 4 or 5 children. Older students, like 7th or 9th graders may be able to walk around "on their own" with designated check in times throughout the day. Teachers should have emergency contact numbers for all children. They should have all of the relevant medical information about the students such as allergies or conditions like diabetes. Teachers should also talk in advance about what to do if a child gets lost from the group. Students need to know what to do in an emergency.
No matter how thoroughly you prepare, field trips can still present obstacles. Be sure to visit the site of your trip first; talk with officials in person (if possible); have plenty of chaperones who are briefed on their responsibilities; buddy up the children into pairs or small groups; and create a timetable so your trip will run smoothly. Be sure your bus drivers are briefed as well, since several of my well-intentioned field trips were botched by bus drivers who did not show up on time. Also be sure to alert parents about the return time: It's no fun sitting with the last student an hour after the trip is over because the parent is not around to take their child home.
Some safety issues will be specific to the location. For instance, attending an enclosed environment like a museum will have different safety concerns than visiting an outdoor area like a zoo. Some basic safety concerns will carry over no matter where the field trip takes place. These are issues like having a specific way to account for all the children. It also includes some sort of buddy system so no child goes anywhere alone. It is also important to remember any emergency medical supplies for students. Things such as epipens and first aid supplies are important to have handy.
Chaperones and transportation are the main things. Obviously, the best way to manage chaperones is to assign each of them a handful of kids to be responsible for. Make sure everyone knows when and where to meet. As for transportation, if kids will be allowed to ride home with parents, there needs to be some sort of documentation for it. These are two problems I've encountered as a teacher and a parent, and they're pretty easy to solve.
The number one safety issue for a field trip is chaperones. Make sure each chaperone knows how many kids are in his or her charge. Make sure they know the kids’ names and any health or behavioral issues. Also, there needs to be at least one teacher who does know each child well.