Letter for Accompanying school Faculty
We are thrilled that you will be accompanying your students on their Indier program. Your participation is an extremely important factor in the success of the program! We are huge believers in the power of these trips and we hope that you will see this as a unique opportunity that enhances your students’ appreciation of the outdoors, an opportunity to grow as individual and as a group. It is also a great opportunity for your students to get to know each other, you and who you are beyond the classroom walls.
While you are on program with Indier you will be assigned to a student group and follow them as they flow through the planned activities. You will be encouraged to participate as much as you feel comfortable. Indier program leaders will assume the daily leadership in regards to all activity safety, planning and teaching, however, they will look to you as an active and engaged co-leader in regards to group management. You are with these students year round and your insight into the groups' mood and issues are always welcomed.
Below is a detailed overview of your expected roles and responsibilities while with Indier. We hope this information will help you better understand the nature of the program and your role within it.
Supporting Experiential Education
Indier operates under the philosophy of experiential education, which empowers students to take an active role in their learning, with minimum direction from leaders and adults. Challenge, struggle and even occasional mistakes are all parts of experiential learning. School faculty should refrain from offering excessive suggestions, taking on dominant leadership roles, or showing students how to do it.
Be an active and positive influence and participant in all of your group’s activities. Be open-minded and engaged. Students love to get to know their teachers on a more personal level than maybe the classroom allows. A school representative must be present with each activity group at all times.
Encourages Student Engagement
Help encourage student participation and interest in the activities. Help maintain students’ focus on the activities and aid in discipline if needed. Indier staff will be responsible for all activity instruction and programming, but may need your help and support in the program delivery. Program leaders will ensure that they discuss how you can be most helpful before activities begin. Please speak to program leaders if you have students in your group that may require special attention or different approaches to instruction.
You will be provided with a program itinerary upon arrival at the program site. Please help keep students on schedule to program activities in order to maximize their programming time. Please also understand that while we put a lot of effort into developing this itinerary, the nature of outdoor education is that conditions are always changing. It is sometimes the case that activity times or locations will need to be changed. It is also possible that some activities will need to be cancelled or rescheduled all together. We appreciate your willingness to be adaptable.
Extensive risk management policies are in place at Indier to help ensure the safety of both you and your students. It is essential that you pay close attention to any safety briefings given by Indier staff and ensure that students are adhering to these policies. If you have any questions about our risk management policies please ask your program leaders or the Program Operation Manager. Indier program leaders are experienced outdoor educators and first aid providers; they will take charge in any incident requiring medical attention.
Student and Behavior Management
Indier staff will address the students and inform them that while on program the same rules that apply when at school also apply when on program. While on an Indier program you and your fellow faculty will be responsible for student supervision at specific times throughout the day including: scheduled down time, after evening program when students have been sent to their sleeping quarters and through the night until we all convene again for breakfast. At these times you are responsible for keeping track of students, ensuring their wellbeing, encouraging appropriate behavior and enforcing discipline as needed. You may want to create a supervision schedule within your faculty group to ensure adequate supervision while also providing each of you some personal downtime. At lights out time at least one faculty member should make rounds of the sleeping area (hotel rooms or campsite) until all is quiet. In the event of a serious incident requiring more personnel, Indier staff will be available to you.
We are always open to feedback and greatly appreciate your positive and constructive comments. Please communicate with Indier staff regarding student or personal questions or concerns. One of the Indier program leaders will meet with you on the day of your arrival to discuss these roles further. At the end of your program you will have the opportunity to provide written feedback about your Indier experience on our evaluation forms. At the beginning of each activity period the program leader will briefly connect with the accompanying faculty leader to discuss ways in which they can be helpful. At this time faculty can also give the program leader suggestions on communicating with this specific group of students.
Program leaders will also check in with faculty at the end of each day. Please let us know if there is anything we can do to enhance the experience for you or your students.
Medication Distribution and Dietary Support
Faculty are expected to manage student medications and to help with students who may have special dietary concerns or require supplemental meals. Often, teachers may be required to hold onto medication for students and ensure that it is used appropriately. Indier staff will not be involved with medications. Indier staffs do not carry any medications in their first aid kits and are not able to obtain any medications (non-prescription or prescription) for students without express permission of the requesting student’s parent or guardian and the school.
Kurt Hahn, a pioneer in experiential education, once said: “There is more in us than we know. If we can be made to see it, perhaps, for the rest of our lives we will be unwilling to settle for less.” It is these trips outside of the classroom that often allow young people the opportunity to see themselves in a new and remarkable way. We are thrilled to share these experiences with you and your students. We are very grateful that you are taking the time to accompany your students on this valuable outdoor experience.
We look forward to working with you soon!
Indier Program Operation Team