If you haven’t yet accompanied your child on a school trip, you probably won’t want to after reading this. So go straight to no. 10. You’re welcome.
1. Don’t put any younger kids in nursery so you can accompany your school age child. Well, you can, if you want. But you’ll be paying a hundred odd quid for the privilege. Which begs the question, if you aren’t spending the day with them, do you really want to pay to spend it with 30 other kids, even if one is yours?
2. Prepare yourself for the fact that your own child will behave the worst. Over-excitement? Showing off? Sheer defiance? Take your pick. Your own child will irritate the hell out of you whilst 29 other specimens torment you by behaving beautifully.
3. Try not to lose any kids in your group. In this scenario, it is definitely better to lose your own child, rather than someone else’s. So, sod your own, who’s being vile anyway. And keep an eye on the kids that aren’t yours. If this means threading a long piece of string through the sleeves of all of their jumpers, so be it. Needs must and all that.
4. Only go on the school trips that provide coaches. Because taking 30 kids on public transport? Hahahahahahahahaha (see above). Yes, there’s a reason you don’t have to pay to use the train when accompanied by 30 school children. It’s because it is UTTER MADNESS. And charging you an Oyster fare of £3.20 would be a tad insulting.
5. Don’t get excited because you’re going to a museum you’ve been wanting to go to for ages. What with the child tracking, going to the toilet and helping little Jimmy track down his biro, which later turns up in the back of his jumper (WTF?), you won’t have time to see a flipping thing.
6. Stop looking at your phone. You’re supposed to be helping educate the leaders of tomorrow, not playing Candy Crush or doing Your Story of Friendship on Facebook. Got it?
7. Be patient. Unless you want little Jimmy to go home and tell his mum that you’re ‘not very nice and a bit shouty,‘ best to refrain from using any of your usual vocabulary and take a deep breath instead. You don’t want to be the one who teaches somebody else’s child their first swear word, do you?
8. Don’t lose your s***. This is really the same as number 6. Just remember. Little Jimmy is watching your every move. YOUR. EVERY. MOVE.
9. Don’t get caught in the gift shop. Gift shops are forbidden on school trips. ‘No, you can’t buy a pencil. Or an eraser. No, you can’t have a ruler either.‘ It doesn’t matter what you did when you were a child. It’s embarrassing for everyone if, at 35 years of age, you have to be told this by the teacher, whilst 30 obedient children look on. So please. Exercise some self-discipline.
10. Look at the school diary as soon as you get back. Then you can make sure you’re ‘sadly not available‘ for any school trips for the rest of the year. You’re so sorry. You really wish you were.