A museum field trip should be a fun and exciting time for your students. Here are some tips to follow to be sure you get the most out of your experience!
1. Try to make your field trip start time as accurate as possible so you don’t arrive late. Every museum has its own policy for handling late arrivals. Sometimes the first portion of your scheduled trip will be shortened to keep the rest of the day’s schedule on track. Some museums will be able to shorten all your programs so your students still get to see and do everything the museum has to offer. But no matter what the policy, if you arrive late your field trip will be cut short. When making your travel arrangements, remember it usually takes longer for a bus to make the trip than a car.
2. Have your student count ready when you arrive. This will expedite the check-in process and get your field trip started as quickly as possible. Make sure the other teachers who are coming on the trip with you understand the plan for the day.
3. Try to limit the number of parent chaperones. Having a few extra adults can help you keep an eye on your students, but having too many extra adults can cause additional problems. It is easiest for the museum when there is only one adult in charge of a classroom. Also, some students might misbehave around their parents. Prep your chaperones ahead of time. Remind them that they are setting an example for the students.
4. Help the museum staff by disciplining your students if/when needed. Help to keep them quiet while your tour guide is speaking and organized when moving from place to place.
5. If you are eating lunch at the museum, please make sure your students clean up after themselves as much as possible. Alert a staff member if you have a spill or if garbage containers are too full. Almost all museums are short staffed and don’t have time to do a thorough cleaning between groups at lunchtime. Any help from you will be greatly appreciated!
6. Prepare your students for their museum field trip. Use any pre-visit materials provided by the museum to help them understand the types of things they will see and do. Explain how you expect them to behave in a museum ahead of time. For many, this will be their first trip to a museum so they need guidance on what to do and how to act. You may want to review the article “Museum Field Trip Tips for Students” in your classroom. We want everyone to have a good time on their museum field trip, but there have to be rules in order to keep the students and the exhibits safe!