It’s always important to prepare in advance for a class field trip, especially when you are visiting an outdoor environmental site. Use Clear into the Classroom’s checklist below as your starting point.
___ Visit the site shortly before the class—sometimes things change frequently and you want to make sure your expectations are met.
___ Always have a Plan B—is there an inside location if the weather turns? Or can you schedule the field trip on another day?
___ Make sure your students know what to look for at the site—maybe some work in the classroom before you make the trip.
___ Debrief once you return to the classroom—use visuals.
___ Think local—what can you do in the neighborhood?
___ Be an environmental steward: Leave no trace. This means that students and parents should leave the environmental site as they found it. No littering, and no picking flowers/leaves/grasses/rocks/soil to bring home (unless otherwise specified by the field trip leader).
___ Create a safety checklist that can include the following:
- Safety precautions based on where the field trip will take place.
- Parent permission slip according to school policy. (This might include permission for student photos to be used in after-trip publicity.)
- If a bus trip is involved, seat belts must be worn.
- Enough chaperones (adult/student ratio appropriate for the nature of the trip and activities involved).
- Advise parents and students on proper clothing and footwear for comfort and safe walking.
- Remind parents and students to use sunscreen and/or bug spray, if needed.