It's been so long I can barely remember my first time, but I'm sure I had the same wide-eyed look on my face as a Mom new to field trip duty. They're easy to spot because they're probably slightly overdressed, or disheveled from an unusually early arrival. These are the folks asking for name tags, shocked by the bumpy bus ride and surprised when the brown bag lunches get passed around. Sorry, you eat the same as the kids - turkey on wheat bread, orange slices and generic potato chips. Hopefully by the end of the day these Moms and Dads have made a friend or two, as well as a fun memory with their children.
Mr. No Nonsense
This parent runs a tight ship. Wiggling, giggling and all goofy behavior is strictly frowned upon. While classmates are exploring and having fun, their kid usually has to stay close. Scowls are issued as warnings and any naughty behavior will be quickly corrected with a furious finger wag. Though these parents are great allies when dealing with an unruly bunch, they might need a reminder to let the kids be kids just once in a while.
Usually a Dad who relives his own childhood on these trips. You can find them roughhousing and getting the kids all riled up on the bus, or singing silly songs en route. When you finally make it to the destination this parent will hit the ground running; he or she will be totally hands on with the exhibits. They knock on the aquarium tanks, dress up in the space station and make animal noises at the zoo. Typically a ton of fun, who wouldn't want to spend an afternoon with this parent? Easy to spot by their comfy attire and the swarm of ecstatic kids clamoring for their attention.
Going on field trips with this parent is like taking an educational jaunt with Alec Trebek. Above all else and by any means, this Mom or Dad is going to make sure we all learn something! The bus ride becomes a Jeopardy game for five year olds. Every fact based placard at the museum will be read, and there will probably be a pop quiz at lunch. Ms. Information isn't usually as stuffy as she seems, don't fault her for being smart. Encourage this parent to let the teachers lead the lessons, put the map down and have a little fun!
This parent is focused on snapping photos of their offspring in their natural habitats. Their fancy camera is always poised and ready to capture the next Kodak moment. A child's max field trip attention span is about 15 seconds, so you only get one chance to get a great shot before Jr. looks away or darts off. Organizing a group picture is more difficult than wrangling a herd of wild horses. This parent and their pursuit of the perfect image is commendable. Make sure you give them your email address so you get that wonderful picture of mini-me feeding a billy goat or uncovering dinosaur bones.