Open Forum

 View Only
  • 1.  Group Chaperones

    Posted 05-15-2018 05:25 PM
    We are looking to improve our communication with chaperones for all of our groups. Specifically we are hoping for advice on how and when you reach out to your chaperones. (not just the group leader who makes the reservation) What language do you use? What action do you have them take to ensure they understand their role as being a chaperone is more than just making sure they have the same amount of kids coming into the museum as going out of the museum. :) Any help would be appreciated! I can also be contacted at :

    Melissa Sarver
    Call Center Manager
    Columbus OH
    AAM Annual Meeting & MuseumExpo, Baltimore, May 16-19, 2024, click to learn more

  • 2.  RE: Group Chaperones

    Posted 05-16-2018 08:58 AM

    Hi Melissa,


    In the past we have handed each chaperone a laminated card with a list of chaperone expectations – stay with the children, participate when asked, model good behavior, and so on. It has had mixed results but at least it's something your educators or docents or tour guides can refer to if chaperones aren't being helpful. We collect them back at the end of the program to reuse. We also speak directly to the chaperones at the beginning of a program, welcoming them along with the students and letting them know expectations for how they can help us.


    Good luck.


    Polly Desjarlais

    Education Assistant

    New York Transit Museum

    99 Schermerhorn Street Brooklyn, NY 11201
    (718) 694 4066|


    AAM Annual Meeting & MuseumExpo, Baltimore, May 16-19, 2024, click to learn more

  • 3.  RE: Group Chaperones

    Posted 05-16-2018 01:04 PM
    Hi Melissa,

    We also have a card that we review with the chaperones that is bulleted information and bilingual (Spanish & English).  We also send a more detailed Chaperone Guide with tour information to the person who made the reservation with instructions to share with all of the chaperones.  What has really made a difference this year (better but not perfect) is that while we review museum rules and guidelines with the students on our tours, one of our docents has the responsibility of taking all of the chaperones aside to go over the chaperone expectations with them.  They can then clarify the responsibilities and answer questions directly.  That just takes a few minutes.  The chaperones join the rest of the group before we are done answering questions from the students.  This has led to more informed and attentive chaperones.  We do still have some that wander off or focus on their own child rather than the group, but that is the nature of the tour and we all do our best to protect the art and the children, of course.

    Sherri Jones
    Museum Education Program Coordinator
    Jordan Schnitzer Museum of Art
    Eugene OR

    AAM Annual Meeting & MuseumExpo, Baltimore, May 16-19, 2024, click to learn more

  • 4.  RE: Group Chaperones

    Posted 05-16-2018 03:36 PM
    ​Hi Melissa,
    We also have a confirmation letter we send to the person making the reservation which includes chaperone requirements, policies and behavior expectations. Once in the building our method is kind of a combination of the two previous responses. We talk to the chaperones (do you know which students you are responsible for today, your schedule, the expectations of chaperones and behavior) and provide laminated copies of the confirmation letter to the chaperones if they haven't read the policies yet. We ask the students to listen during this first part so they can correct the adults if they are breaking the rules which really gets their attention! Then we address the students (stay with your chaperone, no food/drink, walk, be respectful). We do on occasion get eye rolls from the adults who may have heard this already or think they know how it all works however it does address the issue that information sent to the person booking the visit doesn't always make its way to the chaperones. It definitely empowers our staff to address issues of inactive chaperones since they can no longer say "I didn't know".

    Chantal Hayes
    Cincinnati Museum Center at Union Terminal
    Cincinnati OH

    AAM Annual Meeting & MuseumExpo, Baltimore, May 16-19, 2024, click to learn more

  • 5.  RE: Group Chaperones

    Posted 05-17-2018 02:30 PM
    ​Hi Melissa,

    I'm wondering if you're looking for help communicating with groups that are being guided by a staff member or docent or groups that are self-guiding? We send chaperone information to group organizers in both instances and I'm happy to send you those documents. We also found that having some of these documents translated into multiple languages has helped for our audiences.

    On the day of the visit, we have a staff member or docent address the chaperones directly. I typically encourage docents to speak to their chaperones before the start of their tour: introduce themselves, shake their hands, and thank them for helping out that day. This usually gets chaperones more bought-in to acting in a support role.

    All that being said, we still have chaperones who are disengaged and sometimes are not modeling the behaviors we'd like to see in the museum (e.g., playing with their cell phone, not staying with the group, and even touching works of art!).

    Kelsey Donahue
    Museum Educator
    Seattle Art Museum
    Seattle WA

    AAM Annual Meeting & MuseumExpo, Baltimore, May 16-19, 2024, click to learn more

  • 6.  RE: Group Chaperones

    Posted 05-18-2018 08:27 AM

    Much like others we send out chaperone guidelines with the group confirmation.  However, a lot of our group reservations are made by large tour companies and those guidelines don't make it to the individual school/group.  Our student visitors are largely here on self-guided tours of the Museum.  One thing we do is a member of our education department physically gets on each bus as they pull up to the front door.  We go over basic history of the Marine Corps, the Museum etc., but also go over the guidelines and good museum manners.  We can also give the students special instructions that may only pertain to that group or what is going on in the Museum that day.  For instance all students coming today will learn that we have large veterans groups visiting and many ceremonies taking place.  This is helpful in keeping food, drinks, backpacks, etc out of the Museum as well as setting expectations for the chaperones and students.  For very young visitors we have a fun puppet video on our website which teachers can download before a visit.  


    Rebecca Super
    Education Specialist
    National Museum of the Marine Corps
    Triangle VA

    AAM Annual Meeting & MuseumExpo, Baltimore, May 16-19, 2024, click to learn more