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Preparing Students for the Unexpected

Preparing Students for the Unexpected

April 15, 2020

The COVID-19 pandemic an unprecedented and unexpected situation, disrupting travel for all.

Once the current coronavirus situation is managed and we’re back to traveling and showing students the world, the unexpected is still possible. Though inconvenient, interruptions don’t have to mean your trip is a loss. From flight delays to a national emergency abroad, having a plan B is essential for all scenarios.

Have you taken it a step further and thought about how to prepare students to handle when plans change?

Thrive in the chaos.
Share with students that sometimes, your approach to handling a hectic situation can greatly determine the outcome and what your takeaways are. Remind them that mindset is huge. If you go into a situation thinking it will be awful, you’re already setting yourself up for failure and eliminating the possibility of having a great time. Encourage students to remember: There’s always a silver lining.

Turn the situation into a learning opportunity.
As students will come to learn, in school and in life, things don’t always go according to plan. Learning to adapt will serve them well in the moment—and far beyond the trip. Together, before travel, come up with three self-reflection questions students could ask themselves in the moment if plans change. They’ll be prepared to reflect and they’ll grow and be provided perspective for the future.

Have a plan for staying entertained.
Whether it’s a quiz game on educational topics students have learned on the trip, a good book to read in silence or a deck of cards for playing games with their classmates, have a plan to engage students during unexpected downtime. This includes encouraging them to ponder what specific items they should pack.

Even though the unexpected always sneaks up on us, that doesn’t mean your students couldn’t be equipped to handle whatever challenge comes their way.

Written by Sarah Suydam, Staff Writer for Teach & Travel.