Field trip chaperone vs parents who just want a cheap outing

Discussion in 'Elementary Education' started by Backroads, May 16, 2019.

  1. Backroads

    Backroads Aficionado

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    May 16, 2019

    Feeling a little miffed right now and wondering if there's a polite way to handle this.

    Next week we are attending a field trip to a venue that is a fairly big deal, due to venerability as well as distance--it's the sort of place people in our community would likely have to specifically plan for. We are able to take so many chaperones for free who are willing to help out with herding students, but we also snagged a deal with the place that any parents who meet us there and enter with the school will have a reduced ticket price. It is also implied they will be free of any chaperone duties.

    I have a whole bunch of parents who are perfectly willing to drive down and meet us there, but so far precisely 1 designated chaperone who is attending in large part to help her kid. I get the impression a lot of the other parents won't be too keen on being asked to help out.
     
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  3. SpecialPreskoo

    SpecialPreskoo Moderator

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    May 16, 2019

    The "free of any chaperone duties" shouldn't have been on the table. Are they going to deal with their own kid at least?
     
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  4. Backroads

    Backroads Aficionado

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    May 16, 2019

    I fully agree. It's a school-wide trip, and my understanding was the assumption was that parents would be loving to come chaperone, and the meet-us-down-there-and-pay-a-small-fee was to appease those who weren't able to grab the coveted chaperone spots. And in my classroom, at least, it backfired.
     
  5. SpecialPreskoo

    SpecialPreskoo Moderator

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    Take a sick day. LOL

    Nobody wants to be responsible for other people's kids nowadays. I would at least watch over my kid and her best friend or two.
     
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  6. vickilyn

    vickilyn Guru

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    May 16, 2019

    As a parent who chaperoned virtually any time one was needed, I know that doing it right takes some of the "fun" out of it. That said, I enjoyed every trip, and was rewarded by opportunities to interact with students outside of the classroom. At that time, I subbed virtually every day of the school year, so it was nice for both students and this parent to get to spend some time together in a non-traditional setting. I would agree that there should not have been positions that are free of any responsibility - that's just the venue trying to increase their revenue, and not appropriate for them to offer without the school's consent. Obviously the school didn't consider that people will be happy to pay a cut-rate price for the luxury of having zero obligation to help out. Hoping this is a one time deal that the school now realizes is not in their best interest. Sorry, however, that in the here and now this arrangement is impacting your ability to find chaperones.
     
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  7. otterpop

    otterpop Aficionado

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    May 16, 2019

    I found the same thing out recently and thought it was just my school. Since when is this a thing? I don't get it.
     
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  8. Backroads

    Backroads Aficionado

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    May 20, 2019

    Glad to hear it's not just my school.

    I do theorize if it's because for whatever reasons, taking care of other people's kids is deemed harder. There also might just be that desire to interact with your child in a scholarly setting, but on that one-on-one basis.

    Browsing the internet for this, I found several accounts of parents upset over being asked to chaperone other kids in the class, or paying an extra fee in order to attend without chaperoning.

    Pure entitlement, maybe?
     
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  9. YoungTeacherGuy

    YoungTeacherGuy Phenom

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    May 20, 2019

    I would not have offered a discounted rate to those who are driving down on their own. Period.

    At my school, chaperones ride the bus and are in charge of a group of kids from start to finish. They are, however, given free admission (paid for by the school).
     
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  10. TeacherNY

    TeacherNY Phenom

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    Hahahah some parents don't want to deal with their own kids much less other peoples' kids! It must be nice to have all that free time to waste going on a cheap school trip (I'm guessing these parents don't work?).
     
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  11. Joyful!

    Joyful! Habitué

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    While I appreciate that Mr. and Mrs. So and So took the day off work to join us on the field trip, it is not a family vacation opportunity. Part of parenting is helping in any way you can at the school whether by donating time, money or talent. Part of parenting is ensuring your child can enjoy these great trips by helping to chaperon. I understand no one wants to correct someone else's child for fear of repercussion, or because it is inconvenient. However, we have to put that aside and just do the chaperon job. That's where we make certain every child is safe, supervised and situated to learn what they should from the trip.

    I have had parents behave as though attending was enough and that chaperoning is above and beyond. It is frustrating beyond all measure. One thing that can combat that is to announce publicly with students and parents present the duties and expectations of the adults and children. Believe it or not, that does help.
     
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  12. otterpop

    otterpop Aficionado

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    Reading all of this and thinking about my own experiences, I'm definitely going to be clear about chaperone expectations when planning our next trip. :cool:
     
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  13. Mr.history

    Mr.history Cohort

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    At my school we go on one big trip a year with students. Cost is about $80. We make the parents pay the same price as the kids which means the parents REALLY want to go if they are willing to pay twice. I have never had problems with parent chaperones before but I can generally tell which parents I select to go with us. If the kids are bad we generally don't pick their parents.
     
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  14. Backroads

    Backroads Aficionado

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    May 22, 2019

    I don't know how this school usually does field trips, but our secretary is going crazy.

    She is fielding calls about more parents wanting to come, wanting to bring the whole family, wanting to drive their kid down and do their own thing but still not pay/pay discount.

    Sigh.

    Update: I finally did get chaperones.
     
  15. vickilyn

    vickilyn Guru

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    May 23, 2019

    This is your first year at this school, isn't it? Maybe this is their norm. Going forward, my first outgoing notice about any upcoming field trip would address many of these "problem" situations: No to whole family, No to driving their kid down and back, No to doing their own thing, Absolutely doing chaperoning according to school policy, NO exceptions. It may help save the secretary's sanity.

    Glad you found chaperones who seem to understand the job and what that means. Have a great time!
     
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  16. TeacherNY

    TeacherNY Phenom

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    I would send an email saying thank you for your interest. We have enough chaperones and the allotted number of discount tickets have been claimed. If you'd like to attend you will be responsible for any regular priced tickets.
     
  17. Backroads

    Backroads Aficionado

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    May 23, 2019

    Tragically, the note that went home was specific about a lot of the policies--people just want to be exceptions.

    I am not sure of the norm, but I am under the impression this is an unusually cool field trip.
     

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