- Come ready to work. This isn't an excursion for just you and your kid so yeh take pix and video but make sure you're doing what you were assigned to do. There's some other parent who couldn't be on the trip unknowingly trusting you with their child's safety. Respect that.
- Be mindful of your tone and candor. Most parents do a great job at this, but just as a reminder, you want to make sure you are speaking the school lingo. Be stern and use any words the teacher uses when kids decide to get rowdy.
- Be professional. Schools are professional environments, we forget because there are kids and it's a social environment, but it's still a professional environment. I don't like touching other people's children and I always ask even my friends' kids if they want a hug or to be picked up. It's really important that you are not super intimate with another person's child. This would include hugs, kisses, caresses, excessive picking up, sitting on laps etc. It just looks odd and it's actually inappropriate. Make sure that you think about what you wouldn't want a stranger to do to your kid without you knowing.
- Prep your child for the understanding that you are sharing your attention with them and with their classmates. If you child loves one-on-one, you probably should let them know that this is not the opportunity for you guys to run off and be besties.
As a former educator I know that dealing with other people's kids is no walk in the park. That being said, all parents- working and at home- should take the opportunity to chaperone a school trip. What I did with a few kids on a trip my child's teacher does every day with five times as many kids in a confined space. She keeps them focused and excited to come back every day... Not easy.
We visited the pumpkin patch and I was impressed with how quickly we were able to jump on a hayride, pick a couple apples, pick our own pumpkins and play on the playground to then return two hours before school ended. My respect for teachers was already high, but after watching how particular my child's teacher was about not losing kids, ensuring the students were enriched and supporting parent chaperones, I realized how much work goes into the learning experience.
Helpful Hints For The Successful Chaperone:
Organic Early Childhood Experiences
It's really important to provide "organic" experiences by taking your child places that will stimulate their 5 senses.