ACIS offers a variety of tools to help teachers in the planning stage of their upcoming trips:
All of these tools help group leaders be as well-prepared for their trips as possible. But what should you expect once you arrive? We want everyone, from seasoned group leaders to first time travelers, to be confident in their leadership role while they’re on a tour with ACIS. Here are some tips to keep in mind for your starring role as a Group Leader:
Set the Tone
Lost luggage. Flight delays. Language barriers. These are some of the hiccups that anyone can experience traveling, no matter their level of experience or student group size. While you can’t control the weather or the airplane delays, your attitude about these issues can directly impact the group. If your group sees you stressed and angry, they will take this cue as how to handle the situation. Instead of being frustrated try staying positive: be upbeat, put a humorous spin on things, whatever you do could lighten the mood and keep the rest of the group comfortable and at ease
As a teacher, you know that students follow your lead in the classroom, and this won’t change when traveling overseas. While you may feel closer with this group of students after experiencing new cultures together, don’t lose sight of the fact that you’re the disciplinarian and leader. Your ACIS tour guide is definitely your resource on the trip, but they are not in charge of disciplining the students, that role is unqiuely yours. Here’s what we recommend to keep student behavior on track:
- Enforce the curfew. Check on students in their hotel rooms immediately after curfew.
- Communicate before free time. Anytime small groups of students explore a neighborhood, be sure that you know where they’re headed and when they’ll be back.
- Maintain punctuality and attentiveness of students while on tours.
- Prepare your students. Make sure they have a written list of the hotel and address of where they’re staying should they become separated.
- Reward good behavior. Have your students been on time and courteous all day during their tour? Let them know you appreciate how awesome they’ve been! Ice cream (mmm gelato!) is a really great treat.
Know Your Resources
From sightseeing ideas to hints on the culture, ACIS has tons of information available about your travel destination. You won’t be expected to be the resident expert on the area (that’s what our rockstar tour guides are for!) but we’re happy to help you become well-versed in your destination’s culture. Make sure to review your destination specific learning packs before the trip, and feel free to use them as a guide when answering student’s questions. If you have WiFi, which a number of our centrally-located hotels do, you can always email your International Program Consultant before or during your tour. They always have good suggestions to keep in mind!
Planning a trip overseas can be daunting, even for the most seasoned travelers, but once the planning is done, knowing what to expect can be the best way to prepare for a bon voyage. With ACIS, we make it a priority to take care of all of those planning details to craft the perfect trip for your class and curriculum, so you can remain focused on the educational travel experience. We hope you’re as excited about your important role as the group leader as we are about guiding your class on the trip of a lifetime!
To our seasoned group leaders – do you have any tips for succeeding as a group leader while on your trip? Share your strategies in the comments!