I believe that giving children responsibilities not only teaches them to be independent but it is also a way to show them that you trust them. You trust that they can do what is asked and do it to the best of their ability.
I have talked with many parents and I’m always surprised when they tell me that their child does not have any responsibilities at home. By not having any, I think the child is getting the wrong message. Even if a child has a disability, many are capable of small responsibilities. In fact, if they are capable, it can go a long way to improving their self esteem. Of course, they may fuss and protest about having these responsibilities, but I think later in life they will appreciate this learning experience.
I feel the same thing applies in the classroom. Students should have certain responsibilities in my classroom. This shows that I trust them to help me as well.
Each student was assigned duties that lasted the whole week. I had one student designated with taking attendance and letting me know who was absent. Another student would collect homework and let me know who did not have it. One student was responsible for answering the phone if it rang so I was not interrupted during teaching unless it was necessary. This student had a script to follow which was near the phone to help them. I even had one student who was responsible for letting me know 5 minutes before the end of class so that we could finish up and do what was necessary before they left.
All of these things were minor to me but it really freed me up to be a more effective teacher. Plus the students enjoyed having these responsibilities. The tasks can be different according to the age that you teach but all students on all levels need these responsibilities.
Here are some other articles I have found on this subject:
I believe that by assigning duties to students, I will be helping them be more successful during the school year and in the future.
Do you have your students do certain things in your classroom like this? If so, please share. I might find a new job assignment that I had not thought of before.
Posted on the Successful Teaching Blog by loonyhiker (successfulteaching at gmail dot com).