How to Be Good Chaperones

A great group of adults recently accompanied a school group to a program at Historic Arkansas. They were SO good that we wanted to write about them. Would you please share this with your chaperones? Thank you!

What the good chaperones did and did not do...

A few parents wanted to visit with one another. That was all right BECAUSE they left the room before they started talking. They stayed far away from the student activities. Nobody else heard them. Other adults stayed with the students.

Whispered conversations among adults are distracting. Follow the example of the group we loved so much—be a quiet observer of the program or step away for a conversation.

When the first cell phone rang, the parent jumped up and left the area to have her conversation—we did not hear her talking—and everyone else immediately turned off their phones.

We prefer never to hear cell phones. They spoil our 19th century atmosphere! But the first ring was the last one for the rest of the two hours. That was great.

When we explained to the students how to line up, they did a good job. Eventually they needed a reminder—but our hands were full. Adults with the group gently, but firmly, stepped in to reassemble the kids in their orderly line. We were grateful!

Stirring cornbread, shoveling hot coals AND getting the kids back in line was more than one body could do. It was terrific for the teacher to see our need and bring order back to the group—so unobtrusively.

Another parent helped us dress a boy in his pioneer clothes. We needed that help, too.

The teacher and the parents had been to this program in years past. But none of them shared what they knew. They let the staff and the students do the talking.

When we ask a question we often hear answers from big folks—who don't even raise their hands! We LOVE adults feeling that engaged. But, on this field trip, we are looking for answers from your kids.

We've even had adults so enthusiastic that they step in to guide the tours! Please, feel free to be an active participant by asking guiding questions. We're happy to guide the tour.

When the group first arrived at the museum, they knew the rules. With 28 students, three adults were free. There were two extra adults. They knew they would have to pay, and they had already given their fee to the teacher, who paid for the whole group at one time.

Two extra adults were OK. We could fit them in. Sometimes too many extra adults come. We cannot fit them in. When that happens we invite them to enjoy the store, the video and the exhibit galleries—all for free.