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How to be helpful on a trip

(17 Posts)
GrandmaSharksDentures Fri 01-Mar-19 20:58:13

I am a parent & have a child in Yr2, I have volunteered to help on a class trip to a local attraction. The trip will involve travel on bus & train, the actual visit & then return journey.
How can I be most helpful to the teacher? What should I do? Or most importantly, what should I NOT do?

OP’s posts: |
ArmchairTraveller Fri 01-Mar-19 21:18:35

Don’t prioritise your child on the trip, listen to the expectations of the teacher and stick to them, be enthusiastic and talk with your group about what they are seeing. You don’t need to know the subject, just model that learning experiences are fun.
There are some parents that I only invited once, others I was delighted to see any time. grin

AnxiousMcAnxiousFace Fri 01-Mar-19 21:24:21

What a lovely question. Teachers like,

Calm children. Don’t get them all hyped up and cheering or being loud.

Follow the rules explicitly. Don’t let the children manipulate you into going to the toilet at the wrong times, just looking over there a minute, just having a little rest, carrying their bags etc.

Don’t talk to other adults when the teaching is talking.

I’m sure I will think of more!

spaghettipeppers Fri 01-Mar-19 21:34:40

Don't lose any of them grin

It is common to be allocated a small group of children to keep an eye on.

Do try to walk slightly behind them, not in front of them, so you can see all of them.

Do try and keep them calm, don't be afraid to nip things in the bud with a firm, clear instruction.

Don't buy them or your own child treats, the rest will start complaining.

Do talk to the teacher. I always buy our helpers tea/coffee to say thank you, we really appreciate you giving up your time.

AuntieStella Fri 01-Mar-19 21:38:02

You will spend the entire day counting frantically to make sure you have not lost any of your allocated pupils! You will also be making evil plots to ensure utterly identical school coats and old-fashioned disctintive hats.....

Basically, just do as you are told asked.

TooStressyTooMessy Fri 01-Mar-19 21:45:31

Ooh, can I ask, what should you do as the parent helper if one of the children really really needs the toilet at the wrong time?

The last trip I helped on was awful as there wasn’t time for all the (reception age) children to go to the toilet before we left to wall back to school. We then had a 15 minute walk to do and as we started the walk one of the children in my group said she was desperate for the toilet (no time to go before as I said). I vaguely know the child and think she genuinely needed to go. I couldn’t get the teachers’ attention so just ploughed on. We then passed some public toilets and she wanted to go there but I felt obliged to say no as it wasn’t a designated stop. It was horrible though and I felt uncomfortable about the whole thing. Luckily she didn’t wet herself and I did speak to the teachers afterwards who said she would have had to keep going and not stop.

monkeysox Fri 01-Mar-19 21:49:37

Take plastic bags, tissues, wipes with you just in case

AuntieStella Fri 01-Mar-19 22:56:56

Only staff took pupils to the loos, so best bet is to find a staff member and make it their problem.

Planning adequate loo breaks, plus emergency loo plan, must surely be high up the list of things that must be sorted out

TooStressyTooMessy Sat 02-Mar-19 02:40:55

Thanks Auntie, that makes sense. Yes, I think that was just bad luck / planning on that trip as I had helped a few times before and never had any problems. Next time I will definitely ask for the emergency loo plan smile.

Rockbird Sat 02-Mar-19 07:17:47

Every school trip I've been on has involved many scheduled toilet breaks so it's very bad planning on their part if there wasn't enough time, especially for reception children. I had a child with me last year who announced she needed the toilet halfway into the coach trip home. It was the longest, most stressful coach journey of my life! Poor little mite.

You will be told exactly what to do though OP. We're always given a list of the children in our group, plus a leaflet about the trip with timings etc and dos and donts. I get one even though I work at the school! It's usually a lovely but exhausting day.

dreamyflower Sat 02-Mar-19 07:36:19

Fab question. You already sound helpful! The worst things I've had parents do is: go off on their own and be late to the workshop we had planned, another bought all the children in their group ice cream when we have a no spending money policy so the rest of the class were upset and I paid for ice creams for everyone else out of my own money, tell the children about inappropriate tv programmes, swearing, hyping up the boys in the group and lastly getting off the wrong tube. We go on a lot of trips and so these have been spread over 5 years but so annoying. I always give parents a leaflet with information and my contact details and brief them before we go. As long as you're appropriate and keep your group safe, you will be a huge help. 😊

dreamyflower Sat 02-Mar-19 07:37:54

@Toostressytoomessy our policy is only teachers take children to toilets so poor planning.

Ifailed Sat 02-Mar-19 07:43:21

Did this a couple of times, and as PPs have said, try and follow the teachers instructions. I found it easier not to have my son in my group, I told the teacher before hand.

TooStressyTooMessy Sat 02-Mar-19 08:05:41

Thanks dreamyflower.

Iwantacampervan Sat 02-Mar-19 09:30:30

Don't be upset if your child isn't in your group & be aware that the usual confidentiality which parent helpers in school agree to applies to trips as well.
Check the policy on photos. When you get off the train & bus check that your group have all of their belongings.
Have a great time but I'm sure you'll be spending most of it counting heads!

GrandmaSharksDentures Sat 02-Mar-19 13:05:50

Thank you, some really helpful hints here
Keep counting
Treat them all the same
Do as I'm told when I'm told to do it
Careful about toilet breaks

I like the suggestion to take wet wipes & carrier bags just in case

OP’s posts: |
AuntieStella Sat 02-Mar-19 16:47:22

Make sure you have contact numbers for the trip leader, ideally at least one other staff member on the trip, plus point of contact at the school. Programme them in (delete after trio) and make sure your battery is fully charged (put phone on 'low power mode' to maximise battery life)

So if anything does happen (child falls over, throws up or whateve) you can tell someone. Because an adult has to stay with the afflicted one, and you can't let the others wander off without an adult. Now you shouid be in groups of at least two adults plus their charges, but Sod's law means that an incident will always happen just when one is out of sight the other side of the penguins.

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