Choosing field trip chaperones

Discussion in 'Elementary Education' started by jsais, Dec 2, 2009.

  1. jsais

    jsais Rookie

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    Dec 2, 2009

    I am taking my small class (8 4th-6th grade students) on a field trip. We will be traveling about 2 hours on a train to go to our state capital. I have about 6-7 parents who would like to chaperone. Two of my students have said that their parents won't let them go if they don't chaperone.

    The problem is that I really don't want to take as many adults as I do kids. Also, one of the parents who won't let her daughter go without her is pretty flaky. I don't really trust her to manage a group.

    Any advice?
    Should I let all of the parents go?
    How can I choose chaperones fairly, or at least without hurting any feelings?

    Thanks! -Jeanette
     
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  3. BioAngel

    BioAngel Science Teacher - Grades 3-6

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    Dec 2, 2009

    Tell the parents that you put the names in a basket and drew out 2-3 parents. So they think its completely random, then they can't blame you.

    Then decide as the professional and the person who will take the blame if anything DOES happen (*knock on wood*) who would be the very best people to help you out.

    And if the the Mom is a flake, DO NOT LET HER GO. It's a shame she'd make her daughter miss out on a cool opportunity, but that's the Mom's fault, not yours.
     
  4. Hoot Owl

    Hoot Owl Aficionado

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    Dec 2, 2009

    Don't worry about hurting feelings, your first priority is the health and safety of your children. The last thing you want is to be responsible for an irresponsible parent.
     
  5. kcjo13

    kcjo13 Phenom

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    Dec 2, 2009

    I'd be willing to be that if Mom is a flake, she'll buckle on letting her kid go on the trip without her.
     
  6. janlee

    janlee Devotee

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    Dec 2, 2009

    In my district teachers choose the number of chaperones they wish to accompany the class on the trip. (names in a hat) Those who are not chosen but still wish to come can drive to the site on their own or in your case possibly take the train. We cannot stop the parents from coming. They would be responsible for their own transportation and purchasing any tickets on their own. Once there, they can accompany the group but are not assigned any children. At the end of the trip if they wish to take their child home they must give written permission to the teacher in charge. Your are visiting a public place and unless you and the class are guests with special privileges I don't think you can stop a parent from coming. At least I can't. Parents have met me at the Bronx Zoo, Museum of Nat. History, Ellis Island, and Statue of Liberty when my class went on trips to these places.
     
  7. halpey1

    halpey1 Groupie

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    Dec 2, 2009

    I agree with the others - TELL them it's random (out of a hat) and then go ahead and pick who you want. It's THEIR choice to not let their child go if they don't, not yours. :D
     
  8. swansong1

    swansong1 Virtuoso

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    Dec 2, 2009

    I don't think you need to even tell them it's a random choice. They don't need any explanation. You are the professional in charge and you just choose the best chaperones for the trip and tell the others that they weren't chosen, if they ask. We also don't stop any parents that want to follow along, but, if we go into a private area for some sort of lesson, only the chaperones can do that part of the trip. Also, parents are not allowed to take their children home from the field trip. Every child has to go back to school on the bus (train, in your case.) It's a liability issue or something in our district.
     
  9. word girl

    word girl Rookie

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    Dec 2, 2009

    I agree with Janlee and BeckySuek. You can't stop the parents from going, just don't assign them to any groups. And the students should go on school - sponsored transportation with their class both there and back.

    I have been on the losing end of 'drawing out of a hat' to be a chaperone (and I don't think it was from being flaky ;-)) and it's very sad. On the other hand, I've included even flaky parents on trips and watched them be as entranced by the trip as their kids.
     
  10. Windy City

    Windy City Companion

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    Dec 2, 2009

    Field trips are a HUGE responsibility to plan and execute. You cannot allow a parent to come along for the sole fact that they are trying to bully you into going.

    I was an aide for many years, and I was in many field trip groups with a parent chaperone (I was a one-on-one, so I just got to be with a group that my student was in, not lead my own). I've seen parents from all ends of the spectrum. A few were rule followers and tried to keep everyone in check. Most parents wanted everyone to have "fun", and really let the kids run amok.

    Knowing what I have seen, I am VERY picky on which parents chaperone. The students need to learn during the field trip and behave.

    You can tell the parent that it's unfortunate that they won't allow their child to attend. Inform them that they will need to take their child to the museum (or whatever place it is) on their own during the weekend because you will have a lot of coursework covering the field trip experience.

    Don't mention that they are free to go if they pay their own way. They can figure that out for themselves. If they don't, then it might actually be better for you. ;)
     

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