Often times teachers only think of counting their students when they are headed out on a field trip or going outdoors to play. But getting into the habit of counting children should start even when you are in the classroom all day!

Here are a few tips for keeping safe track of your students…

  • Keep a folder or clipboard with a checklist of names of each of your students on it.
  • Before leaving one room to go to another, look at each child’s face as you count him or her and place a check mark beside his or her name.
  • Count the total number of children before leaving one location to go to another and before returning from one location to go to another.
  • Walk backwards and face the children as you lead them from one place to another so you can make sure no child decides to stop and fix a shoe or runs off for any reason at all.
  • If you have more than one teacher, place one teacher at the front of the line and another teacher at the back of the line – keep all the children between the two of you.


  • If you are going on a field trip, be sure to bring your master checklist of names and know exactly how many students and adults you have going on the trip.
  • Recruit extra adult volunteers to help you keep a low child to adult ratio.
  • Assign each adult a specific number of children and give each adult a checklist with the names on it that they will be in charge of.
  • Count the number of children before leaving any building and before getting on the bus or in a car and count often all throughout your trip.

We have all heard the stories of a child who was left behind on a field trip, left on a bus, or a child who walked out of a childcare building and was found walking in the middle of the road – I read that in the news.

Don’t take counting children lightly…

Count, Count, and Count again – a child’s life just may count on it!