Thursday, October 25, 2012

Students Doing Their Fair Share

In the after school program that I'm a teacher in, I've been thinking of ways to get students to clean up the auditorium before we head back down to the lower yard. Just to give a little context, from students in grade 3 through 5 go to the auditorium and upper yard from 2 or 3 to 430. Then, everyone heads back down to the portable in the lower yard. It is there that students wait to be picked up by their parents if they haven't already been picked up in the auditorium or upper yard.

At first, the floor and tables in the auditorium would be littered with trash. So, my response was "No one is leaving until all of this trash is picked up!" The great thing is that students would eventually volunteer to pick up all of the trash. However, the problem with that is that often, the same students would volunteer to pick up trash. That means that like 5 to 6 students help clean up the auditorium while 115 others kick back. That's simply unfair. So, today, I had another idea to remedy that inequity.

In kindergarten, students get various jobs everyday. I'm not convinced that that should necessarily stop at kindergarten or 1st grade. In my current situation, I think it would still be a worthwhile idea to implement. However, everyday, instead of picking someone as line leader as is what occurs in kindergarten, different students would be picked everyday to help clean tables, floors, or pick up trash. What is the justification? Well, every student makes a mess in the auditorium. Thus, every student must put in effort to clean the auditorium. Now, I'm not making it optional. Now, everyone will get a chance to clean the auditorium. That seems like a more equitable solution than my first attempt.

Assigning jobs are not just for personal responsibility. They are also for the sake of contributing a fair share to the work. That is, they are also to make sure that there is not one person who is doing too much of the work.

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