If you work in a primary school then you will know that children love helping.
This is great news because in a busy classroom there are loads of jobs that need doing that children can help with.
One of the essentials of effective classroom management is assigning jobs to ‘monitors’.
Being a monitor gives children a key responsibility for something and lets them help contribute to the smooth running of the class in a meaningful way.
Put another way, they are classroom servants and slaves who help ease the workload burden of their downtrodden teachers and they don’t get paid.
Children helping out in class gives them a sense of purpose and pride although it has to be said, some treat their jobs more seriously than others.
Assigning jobs needs some careful thought and canny selection, especially for things like feeding the fish and watering the plants.
If you have anything in your class that is a living thing then it’s wise to choose monitors that are beyond their years and who understand that goldfish don’t like Monster Munch and plants don’t grow that well on Red Bull.
Dishing out monitor jobs doesn’t have to involve a formal interview process but if you are getting someone to mark your weekly spellings and times tables then this will be essential. You will need to quiz them on their views regarding summative assessment and also make sure they can interpret the data. This will save you hours and it means you can claim back your Friday breaktime and lunchtime.
As a teacher you are also a Human Resources Manager and that means making the most of your assets. You shouldn’t feel guilty about giving jobs to children and there is no need to concern yourself with an exploitation laws. All the jobs can be justified and easily explained as ‘being good for their personal development and confidence’ which always works.
This is about your workload and looking after number one. Jobs that children can help you with include being an office message monitor, lining up monitor, cleaning up monitor, classroom display monitor and a ‘hander-out’ monitor. These are the ‘basics’ but teachers who work smarter not harder also have monitor jobs for planning, curriculum, assessment and special needs.
A recent trend sweeping many a primary school has been to have teachers offer a personalised greeting to each pupil in their class as they come in.
This quite frankly is the worst possible start to the day for teachers as over-elaborate handshakes and dances can leave us feeling shattered by 08:51 am. This probably explains why you only ever see younger members of staff doing a manic meet ‘n’ greet.
The sensible option therefore is to have a Morning Greeter monitor and let them do it. This can be your most hyperactive and energetic pupil who will jump at the chance to do back flips every morning. It will also calm this pupil down for the morning allowing you to teach without disruption.
Teachers need to ensure that classroom monitors actually do their jobs and don’t create any extra work so small rewards and occasional bribes are acceptable although avoid stickers at all costs.
The key is to make children feel grateful that they have a job because it might be the only one they will ever have as their 21st Century skills will be redundant by the time they leave school.
Classroom monitors are great and no classroom should be without them. They are the solution to the teacher workload problem.