Experiential learning is a fantastic way to give your students real-world experiences by taking their learning outside the classroom. There are many opportunities to incorporate educational field trips into your curriculum to bring learning to life in a relevant and exciting way!
It is never too early to start planning if you are considering field trip learning for next school year. Consider these 6 reasons why you should use the summer to start planning your school year travel.
#1 Research and Decide on a Destination
There are nearly countless options for you to choose from when planning a field trip experience for your class.
Make sure to do some research ahead of time to find a location your students would be excited about that also relates to your class’s curriculum.
For example, if you teach high school science, find an engaging experience that would allow your students to observe, test and apply science concepts from the classroom in real world scenarios.
For performing arts teachers, consider field trip opportunities where students can be immersed in a professional environment with experts working in the field.
Putting in the research ahead of time – over the summer – will give you ample time to find the perfect trip that will engage your students and supplement your classroom learning.
#2 Consider Pricing/Budget/Fundraising
It is no surprise that school field trips cost money. Funding for your class trip should be done well in advance to make sure that budget approvals and fundraising ideas can be executed in time to make the trip happen.
Be creative! Get your students involved to come up with fun ideas to fundraise for their class trip. Even if your trip isn’t until later in the school year, it is never too soon to start the fundraising process to avoid scrambling last minute. Oftentimes funding and deposits are required ahead of time, so completing your fundraising early will set you and your class up for success!
#3 Plan for Approvals
Don’t forget that you will need the approval of administration to be able to complete your student travel. As a teacher, you likely know that this can be a lengthy process on its own.
Give yourself plenty of time to prepare proposals, budget estimates and travel plans to present to your school administration so that everyone is on the same page about your goals for the class trip and the benefits it can provide for your students.
#4 Reservation Availability
Many field trip locations and programs sell out a year or more in advance! More popular dates might be gone if you wait too long – especially if you plan to travel during busier seasons or holiday weekends.
Spring is the most common time for school trips – so if this is the time of year that you plan to travel with your class – you should definitely start reaching out about dates, reservations and availability well in advance over the summer to make sure that there is still space on the calendar for your group.
#5 No Last Minute Changes
It can be very difficult for certain field trip venues to make last minute additions or deductions for your trip. Needing to make last minute changes ends up becoming a stressful affair for you, your chaperones and the field trip location. Oftentimes you can also get charged additional fees to make changes last minute.
This is just another reason why it is in your interest to start planning over the summer so that you are less likely to need to make any changes in the days leading up to your trip.
#6 Better Communication to Parents and Students
Parents and students want to be in the know about what the field trip experience will be like. Oftentimes, parents serve as chaperones for school trips and can be a valuable resource for helping with organization and logistics.
Keeping a steady flow of communication between parents and students will ensure that things like permission forms are returned on time and money is submitted before due dates.
The better communication you provide to students and parents, the better your trip will turn out and the less you will need to scramble in the days before the trip.
If everyone is on the same page from day one – you can work as a team to bring your amazing educational trip to fruition.
Take advantage of your time this summer to plan an immersive educational experience for your students that brings learning to life through real-world experiences!
Ready to plan a field trip for your class? Check out our workshops in Arts & Humanities, Science & Technology, Leadership & Innovation and Performing Arts at our East Campus in Walt Disney World and our West Campus in Disneyland Resort for a discovery of real-world application of these concepts in our popular Parks and Resorts. Sign up for our e-newsletter to stay up to date on all things Disney Imagination Campus and explore all our academic workshops to see how we inspire imagination-powered learning.