As the old saying goes "good help is hard to find." When traveling with a bus full of students, we need all the help we can get (can I get an Amen?!?) and we need to have the best back up available. Before your first tour, you should really put some thought into the chaperones that you choose to take on tour with you. Keeping up with teenagers on tour is a full time job, is your TRIBE up for it?
On tour, I need chaperones who I can trust to...
...be fair to all students.
...put the needs of the students first.
...fulfill all the small chaperone duties (like room checks, and head counts).
Pick chaperones who you can rely on to do all the important tasks on tour. Timeliness is also important, and a reliable chaperone will help ensure that your group is always on time. When I have a large group, I need chaperones who I can rely on to wake up early for room checks, correctly conduct head counts, dispense medicine, etc.
When traveling with so many students, all with different personalities, it is important for chaperones to be inclusive. For some of the travelers, this trip might be the first time they have been away from home. Chaperones need to make an effort to get to know ALL students and include them in all activities. I think it is important for chaperones to spend time with all students, not just the ones they already know, or like. Find TRIBE members who naturally include everyone!
I make it my policy to choose only teachers from my school to serve as chaperones. I pick teachers who are already beloved by the students. If the students already love the chaperones on tour, they will be excited to travel the world with them, and more apt to follow the chaperone's lead. I've found a basic equation to be true: the chaperones that are beloved by the students are ones that are a good fit because they are naturally trustworthy, reliable, and inclusive. It all seems to work out perfectly!
I try to pick chaperones who want to travel to learn...just like the students. Chaperone's who are focused on education model this mindset for the students, and enjoy their time on tour. Chaperone's who foster learning on tour engage students in conversations about what they are seeing and experiencing. Educational Tours need chaperones who love to learn, and share that love with the students.
What qualities are important to be apart of your TRIBE? Let me know in the comments below!
Hi! I'm Jessica, and I have traveled the world with my students on seventeen EF Tours. I am a teacher and group leader, just like you! I hope that you find some resources on my site to help you with your next EF Tour. Safe Travels!