Kudos to you for taking a huge step in bringing your students’ education to the next level! Join us at Disney Imagination Campus to take your classroom curriculum into the real world through immersive, experiential learning opportunities that will prepare your students to be the thinkers and leaders of tomorrow.
Planning an out of state trip may seem overwhelming for the first time – take a look at some of our suggestions below on how to be a traveling teacher and change students’ lives by exploring learning opportunities outside of your classroom.
1. Consider locations and opportunities that bring learning to life for your students.
Your first step in becoming a traveling teacher is planning your first experience outside the classroom!
What real-world learning opportunities are available in your area that would bring your classroom lesson plans to life for your students? Even small steps like studying Earth Science by visiting a local park or bringing your social studies class to the town history museum will bring firsthand examples and knowledge that will ignite your students’ curiosity.
2. Learn from your peers.
Try talking to some of the other teachers at your school to see what field trips they have taken their students on before. Perhaps you can “tag along” on their next trip to shadow their process and prepare for your own adventure with your class! They may even have some planning documents that could be useful as a starting point for your own preparation.
3. Tag Team It!
Many teachers join forces to plan an amazing field trip experience together! This allows you to divide and conquer on the planning responsibilities, providing support and sharing excitement when it’s time to travel! This isn’t just limited to your own school either. We have teachers that team up with other schools in their towns to provide amazing educational experiences for their students.
4. Take small steps to lead to bigger educational experiences.
If the thought of planning an overnight trip with your group sounds challenging, start with something smaller and more manageable. Take your class outside on the playground for an interactive activity. Then build up to an off-campus experience somewhere within a short trip off of your campus. If your dream is to become a traveling teacher, these preparation activities will get your students (and you) used to learning in new environments as well as planning field trip experiences.
5. Determine when the best time would be for your group to travel.
Based on your school calendar, when would a travel experience work best for you and your students?
Many teachers opt to plan in the spring with travel around Spring Break, but more teachers are recognizing how beneficial it can be to travel earlier in the year (think Fall) to create a bonding activity for their students that creates engagement, sparks interest and spurs imagination for the remainder of the school year. Additionally, it is often more cost effective to travel in off-season times.
6. Build lesson planning that prepares students for their trip.
Consider creative ways to build your out-of-classroom experience into your curriculum. Perhaps it can be a culminating experience to a classroom module? Or, it could be an exciting transformative experience to introduce your students to a new unit.
7. Bring your ideas to your administration team.
Collect the information you have gathered in the previous steps and bring them to your administration team. Not only should you share your field trip location and timing, you should also share your passion for your student’s education and explain how your travel idea will connect to student’s learning, stimulate curiosity, and bring classroom curriculum to life in the real-world while meeting key learning objectives.
8. Consider using a travel planner to help with accommodations, booking, transportation, etc.
If you are planning an overnight experience, it can be useful to request the help of a youth travel planner. There are youth travel planners who are experts in coordinating student group experiences – from transportation to accommodations, these travel planners are experts at making sure you can focus on your student’s education while they handle all the details of your travel experience.
9. Brainstorm fun, interactive ways to fundraise for the trip.
Make this into a creative activity to bring out your students’ imagination! Encourage them to brainstorm unique ways to work as a team to fundraise for your field trip experience. You can even invent ways to bring your classroom curriculum to life through the fundraising process! Students can use math to create budgets for the trip expenses, make use of design elements to create posters and social media posts to promote your fundraising efforts, and more!
10. Bring your students’ parents along for the fun.
Create a social media group for your trip so that your student’s parents can follow along on your experience! Share information to excite parents and educate them about your upcoming trip so they will know how this experience will benefit their student’s education and development. But most importantly, this can be a great avenue to share photos from the trip and update parents on important travel information.
Want to learn more about planning a Disney Imagination Campus student trip? Check out our workshops in Arts & Humanities, Science & Technology, Leadership & Innovation and Performing Arts at our East Campus in Walt Disney World Resort and our West Campus in Disneyland Resort for a discovery of real-world application of these concepts in our immersive parks and resorts.
We are happy to help you get started preparing an amazing educational experience for your students! Connect with a Disney Imagination Campus representative to take your first step in becoming a traveling teacher.