Field Trip Chaperone Checklist

Volunteering to help chaperone a school field trip is a great way to get involved with your child’s school day.


Not only do parents get a glimpse into the students’ curriculum, but they also get a close look at the social dynamics of their children. For the students, a field trip may seem like all fun and games, but field trips are planned with a purpose. If you volunteer to help on a field trip, teachers need your assistance in making sure some amount of learning happens, the students enjoy themselves in a controlled way, and everyone arrives back at school safely.

As a teacher, I am a little picky when it comes to parent volunteers. It is not always first come, first serve. An ideal field trip chaperone meets the majority of the criteria below.

1.   DO spread out from the other parents.
The main reason teachers ask for parent chaperones on a field trip is for safety. If all parents clump together at the back of the group to chat with each other, you can't help with crowd control and supervise student behavior, which is the main reason extra adults have been invited along.

2.   DO be aware of the group—not just your child.
As a chaperone, you may be put in charge of a small group that includes your own child for the length of a field trip. Participate in the activities and engage. Encourage students to ask questions if expected and help prompt appropriate behavior and responses. Share any related information or expertise you may have to spark discussion, but do not take over. If there is a tour guide, let him or her present information. Model the type of listening behavior we expect from the students (and refer to tip #1).

3.   DO feel free to say, “no” (and be able to say it loudly).
Don’t be afraid to discipline students if they wander away, are too loud, or are rude to the tour guide. Teachers want your help in this area. If you are uncomfortable disciplining, let the teacher know. Please don't sit back and watch any unacceptable behavior continue. Often, standing in the proximity of a “busy” child fixes about 85% of the problems.

4.   DO NOT spend time on your cell phone.
Have a cell phone in case of emergency but do not use it on the field trip. If you have a job that requires you to check in often, do not volunteer to chaperone.

5.   DO NOT complain about school issues or faculty members on a field trip.
This is not a time to vent any problems you may have with the school. Along those same lines, do not try to have a parent/teacher conference while on the field trip.

6.   DO enjoy yourself and this time with your child and his/her classmates.
Follow up with more discussion at home and share cool facts or particularly fun parts of the trip.

Guest Contributor: Caitlin Tobin is a mom to two elementary aged children and a teacher. She currently teaches 4th grade but has experience working with children from nursery school up through freshmen in high school. She loves snack foods, crafty projects, and spreadsheets. She is on a mission to help the world choose the perfect teacher gift and writes about many of her ideas at