In this four part series on teacher retirement, we cover the following topics:
- How to choose the next school trip group leader
- How to lay the ground work for future trip success
- How to make the most of your last trip
- First steps of the new group leader
The school trip is a part of your educational legacy. Whether you acted as the group leader for two trips or twenty, you created long-lasting positive memories and unique educational experiences for your students. You’ve worked diligently to make this trip a reality for your school and your students have benefited tremendously. Now, as you prepare for retirement, take the necessary steps to make sure that the trip continues in good hands.
The first step is to identify potential candidates to take over as group leader. Here is what to look for:
Enthusiasm for the Trip Purpose
Does the new group leader express enthusiasm for the learning that takes place while traveling? Do they see how students can grow not just intellectually, but socially and emotionally as well? Travel is a great teacher. A group leader who is excited not just for the destination, but for the trip purpose is worth considering.
Attention to Detail
Is the candidate detail-oriented or easily overwhelmed by logistics? The most successful group leaders pay attention to the details of the trip and are willing to make decisions on behalf of the group. They consider several angles in their decision process and think of what would work best overall.
Is the new group leader flexible? Can they be open to changes in the itinerary brought by unexpected traffic or poor weather? Unavoidable adjustments can happen on tour. The group leader’s ability to make the best of a situation will set the tone for how the rest of the group responds.
Chaperoned Trip Previously
Has the new group leader chaperoned the trip in the past? This is a major advantage for anyone taking over the trip. At the very least, they are familiar with the destination sites, how a large group of students moves through the city, and the general expectations of the trip. They may even feel comfortable with hotel check-in, safety rules, and other school trip policies. This familiarity aids in the trip planning process and their communication with parents about what to expect.
If they haven’t been involved in the trip before, have they taken on a project of similar scale? Have they been in charge or another grade or school wide initiative? If so, you can trust that they have experience gaining school board approval, managing logistics, communicating with parents, fundraising, and seeing a big goal to completion. These skills will be useful when planning the school trip.
Carefully selecting a group leader to take over the trip prior to your retirement will ease the transition and ensure that the trip continues for future students.
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