For Teachers

Important: What Every Teacher Should Know

  • The Great Lakes Education Program provides your class with a full day of experiential education – a cruise aboard one of our schoolships, and landside education provided by Metropark interpretive educators. The GLEP schoolship cruise may be scheduled for either the morning or afternoon, as is the case for the Landside Education session.
  • All Macomb County cruises are one-way between Mt. Clemens and Lake St. Clair Metropark. Morning cruise departs Mt. Clemens; afternoon cruise departs Lake St. Clair Metropark.
  • All Wayne County cruises are round-trip, leaving from and returning to Lake Erie Metropark marina in Brownstown.
  • Departure must be on time! If the boat departs late the cruise time can only be shortened by deleting stops. The boat cannot “go faster” on the river to make up time.
  • Payment must be received prior to your scheduled cruise date. Please do not bring cash or checks to the boat dock the day of your cruise.
  • The Great Lakes Education Program reserves the right to adjust the program or cancel the cruise if there is a safety issue due to do weather or other unforeseeable circumstances. Cancelled trips will be rescheduled. Refunds are not given on adjusted programs.

The Boat

  • The boat is U.S. Coast Guard inspected and certified.
  • The captain is licensed by the Coast Guard for the boat he is piloting.
  • Life jackets are available for all students and adults, per U.S. Coast Guard regulations.
  • Program staff are aware of safety procedures aboard the boat.
  • There is no eating, drinking, or smoking allowed aboard the boat. (Health issues that require eating or drinking are the only exception and must be noted on the trip registration form.)
  • Cell phones cannot be used on the boat and must be turned off.

Your Class

  • On the Reservation Form, include information about student needs — ADD, handicaps, wheelchairs, slow learning, diabetics, or any other special needs or concerns.
  • Before boarding the class should be divided into four (4) groups. When breaking students into groups please keep in mind that based on experience, all boy or all girl groups are harder to keep focused.
  • Each group should have an adult chaperone boarding with it, but no more than 4 chaperones per class are permitted. Chaperones should understand that this is a working field trip.
  • Emphasize the importance of dressing in layers to your students and chaperones! Temperatures on the water can be 10 – 20 degrees cooler than inland.
  • No sandals — students should wear rubber sole or non-skid shoes.
  • Please take time to prepare your students for this trip. The teacher’s manual has a variety of materials to choose from to use before and after your day in the field.
  • Visible name tags on the students are greatly appreciated and, if coded for the group, help keep students where they belong. Consider giving your four groups creative Great Lakes-related names perhaps four species of Great Lakes fish, or four of the five Great Lakes!
  • Lunches are best kept on the bus. If your class must bring them aboard the boat, please put them together in a box or bag supervised by an adult chaperone.
  • Teachers are expected to be involved in the learning process. Please “listen in” on your students, help them stay focused, and set the example by listening to and following the instructions of the staff.