How to Plan a Successful Field Trip: How to For Teachers

New Teacher Survival Guide Series
Installment Nine
TutaPoint's New Teacher Survival Guide series is produced to help teachers new to the classroom navigate their first few months on the job.  
A teacher’s first year is often the most challenging. Learning how to manage a classroom, design lesson plans that work for students, cooperate with faculty and administrators, and manage the time to perform all of these tasks and more is difficult for entering teachers. This new teacher guide offers tips for new teachers and strategies for new teachers to help your first year be successful in seven critical areas.
New Teacher Tips: Successful Field Trips

Field trips are almost invariably a joy to students, but can be equally a joy and a distraction for educators. The key to successful field trips lays in the planning and instructional usefulness of the field trip and surrounding activities, as the research shows. Moreover, well-planned and relevant trips are more likely to achieve administrative and parental support – and funding. You can use the following tips for new teachers for planning successful field trips from the start.

§  Plan logistics. In “Effective use of field trips in educational programming”, Myers and Jones recommend that logistics be incorporated with the administrative approval stage.
§  Prepare. Myers and Jones also recommend that to minimize student anxiety, educators expose students to unfamiliar locations by showing them media of the trip destination.
§  Source funding. Field trips are more successful and receive higher buy-in when they are well funded. The Institute of Museum and Library Services has a grant page for available field trip grants.
§  Tie in lessons. In “Factors that influence learning during a science field trip in a natural environment” Orion and Hofstein suggest that the level of novelty – i.e., familiarity – with a trip destination or subject negatively impacted students’ ability to learn from the trip. Minimize this impact by prepreparation and introduce learning objectives and lessons on the topics to be studied beforehand.
§  Encourage after-trip learning. In “Designing effective field trips at zoos and aquariums”, Nicholas J. Meiers reinforces the importance of after-trip learning, suggesting that students be given opportunities to present observations and ask questions. This reinforces learning and allows the teacher to assess student learning.
§  Creative field trips. For teachers without the budget, time, or support for an out of school field trip, digital field trips can be just as useful. See Online Universities for intriguing and effective lesson ideas, including:
§   Virtual Tour of the Forbidden City, China
§    Mount St. Helens
§    US Supreme Court Virtual Tour
§    The Rare Book Room online
§    Google Earth Ocean

Education is one of the most challenging careers, but it also has the potential to be the most rewarding. We hope you enjoyed this new teacher guide. Please continue to visit our website for more tips and strategies for new teachers.