Are your classroom jobs just that–another job for you, the teacher? Do you find yourself coming up with the list, matching the students, and managing the whole process every week? Or perhaps you’re reminding students about their classroom roles a little too often? Wasn’t this whole thing supposed to be less work for you and more responsibility for students?
Instead of individual roles, consider a team-oriented approach. Classroom leadership teams can put students fully in the driver’s seat, while providing them ample opportunity to work together to learn leadership skills as they face and solve real problems in the classroom.
Classroom Leadership Teams
Classroom leadership teams are created by students based on needs and talents. Students join and serve on one of the teams for a full semester, owning various classroom responsibilities and dreaming up additional ways to serve and contribute. They’re on call for the day-to-day, as well as special events and unplanned occurrences.
The longer term of service ensures authentic opportunities for students to develop solutions to real challenges. Students can reflect regularly with their teammates and share their feedback with their peers.
How to Do It
- Brainstorm ways for students to contribute. Title a blank piece of chart paper “Ways to Contribute.” Ask, “How can you serve our classroom?” Invite students to record their responses on sticky notes. Younger students can draw pictures.
- Look for ways to combine “ways to contribute” to form teams. Use an affinity diagram to look for similar thinking. For example, contributing by creating a class newsletter, calling parents, or creating invitations for family events may all fall under a “Family Communication Specialists” team. Keeping up with assignments for students who are absent, welcoming substitute teachers, and giving new students a class or school tour might belong to the “Wish You Well” team. The possibilities are endless.
- Invite students to apply to serve on a team. Use an application to gauge interest and invite students to participate. Form teams based on interest and gifts. Snap a photo to showcase the teams!
- Commit to opportunities for teams to huddle up to serve and reflect. Dedicate a class meeting time for the teams to initially meet and think through their responsibilities. Continue to use class meeting time for team huddles as needed throughout the year. Consider a weekly Plus/Delta Chart during the last five minutes of the school day to reflect on the work of each team.
Being entrusted with a student leadership role sends students a strong message, “You have something to contribute and you can handle the responsibility of leadership!” Ready to send that message? Give this team-oriented approach to classroom leadership roles a try and let us know how it goes.
- Interested in trying a new leadership teams display board? You can edit these designs (there are 9 teams to choose from!) to the roles you and your class create.
- Take a look at this sample of classroom team roles that can help students keep a classroom running smoothly.