We just returned from JEA/NSPA Convention in Boston. Hands down, the best thing I do with students is travel. The experience of traveling together, learning together, rooming together, dodging weirdos on the street together, competition together all build a strong bond. It makes a journalism class come to life outside the journalism classroom. You don’t have to go big at first. I’d encourage you go to a convention alone or with a colleague or mentor first to get a feel of how it works. My mentor took me to TAJE’s Fall Fiesta in San Antonio early in my career. I will always remember that trip. It was amazing to watch his students bond and work together. That Jazz restaurant on the river walk remains a place I love to stop in on.

Plan ahead for your trip. Here are some tips/tricks/to dos.

  1. Get approval from your district.
  2. Set up a mock schedule. Base it on the flights you’d like to have.
  3. Once the schedule is set up, run costs for all items.
  4. Create an interest flyer with a list of things you’ll see and do and include an estimated cost.
  5. Give a deadline for a downpayment for the trip. (Usually this a meeting for parents.)
  6. Book flight and hotel with the number you have interested. Ask parents or other teachers you trust to chaperone.
  7. Spread out payments to students. We start six months out of the trip. (May for the November convention.)
  8. Set up communications. (Remind, GroupMe, Photocircle, etc…)
  9. Book entertainment and food venues.
  10. Host a parent information meeting. Go over schedule and rules. Here’s my “rules to travel” I adapt for each trip.

General Rules for Travel (boston)

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