Tracie Hand is an American history teacher who’s brought classes to Washington, D.C. for nearly a decade. The trips have become a beloved tradition at her school, and over the years she’s picked up a few tricks for planning the very best student tour possible. Here are some of her favorites.
While on tour, Tracie uses a communication tool called Remind to send out mass texts to parents and students. She is able to keep parents in the loop with short updates and fun pictures. She texts students about timing when they are at sights in order to give everybody a fair warning before they leave.
Keeping Friends Together
Tracie likes to put friends in the same chaperone groups, but sometimes it is hard to figure out who is friends with whom. To do this, Tracie has each student list the names of the individuals they’d like to room with, and she requests that students includes alternative names.
Preparation Is Key
Tracie’s students study civics and American history before their tour, so they are familiar with many of the subjects they’ll explore in D.C. To make lessons even more relevant to the student tour, teachers at Tracie’s school incorporate pictures from past trips into the curriculum.
Tracie may have a ton of experience planning tours, but there’s something she has in common with first-time tour planners: her passion for inspiring students. “I always watch the kids expressions when we go to a recognizable attraction like the Library of Congress,” says Tracie, “that’s what gets me.”