Most students look forward to going on field trips. These activities are a great way to provide students with learning experiences that a classroom cannot provide. And as an educator, it is your responsibility to make sure that your students have a safe, enjoyable experience.
Unfortunately, field trips can become a safety concern if proper protocol is not followed. Before you leave the school, establish clear rules for the children to follow. Let them know that you expect each one of them to obey all the rules and that school rules still apply even when they are not on campus.
Here are a few safety rules that will ensure a safe, smooth ride.
- Use caution as you enter and exit the bus
Students should never run as they board or get off of the bus. If a student tries to enter or exit the bus too quickly, he or she could fall and get hurt. Additionally, students should also stay a few steps away from the bus door to avoid smashing their fingers.
Remind students to keep a safe distance from the bus wheels as well. Once the students have boarded the bus, they should go directly to a seat and stay seated during the bus ride.
Only allow students to exit the bus once you have arrived at your destination. If a student leaves a personal item on the bus, do not let him or her re-enter the bus unless you talk with the bus driver first. Otherwise, the bus driver could start to drive the bus, unaware that a child is in the area.
- Don’t be disruptive
Students who misbehave on the bus can often be a safety hazard for the driver or other students. Warn students that if they participate in disruptive behaviour on the bus, they may have to sit on the bus during the field trip. Some students become disruptive when they get bored.
If you’re worried about disruptive behaviour, consider conducting activities to keep students entertained. Some activities can include finding items on a list while driving to the field trip site or answering educational trivia questions regarding the field trip.
You may find it beneficial to have students come up with questions about the field trip that they can ask the tour guide. Incorporate activities that will help the children focus on their surroundings to keep them occupied.
Once students find their seats on the bus, make sure that they sit forward throughout the bus ride. Students shouldn’t yell or distract the driver. If a student does need to talk with the driver, he or she should first ask you for permission.
Encourage students to use a quiet voice when the bus is in transit so the driver can drive safely. Remind the students that loud noises that could distract the driver will not be tolerated while on the bus.
- Stay with your partner
Designate students into small groups of two or three. Tell the students to stay with their groups throughout the field trip, even when entering and exiting the bus. Students should never wander away from their partner or group.
If students don’t obey this rule, let them know that a teacher or chaperone will be their new partner.
If you know of some students that may cause a disruption, talk with them individually before you leave for the field trip. Ask the student for his or her cooperation. Review the safety rules as well as consequences if the student violates any of the rules.
Use these safety precautions for your bus ride to ensure a hassle-free field trip. For more suggestions, talk with your bus provider about additional safety rules and guidelines.