It’s Not About You

It’s Not About You

Teacher post alert! I needed to take time to reflect and share something I experienced today. Reviews will commence soon.

My sixth graders and I are well into our second semester of school. We are dealing with the dreary, cold weather (without snow) and we are exhausted. We are also close. I see the relationships that have formed and feel much more connected to my students as well. We feel comfortable in my class. At least, that’s my goal-for all of us to feel safe and comfortable so we can learn and grow.

One way that I build this sense of community is through class jobs. Now, I teach secondary (6th grade) and some may sigh and say that either they do not have time for class jobs or it is too elementary. I am the first to say that you do you and what works for your classroom, but don’t knock it before you try it! Class jobs give students a sense of purpose. Students love to feel valued, they NEED to feel valued. It helps in the long run to put forth some time into setting these up.

Time. That was the issue I ran into after our winter break. I felt so rushed to get things going, to do all that I want to do before my students leave me. I felt so overwhelmed, that I gave up on jobs. They had fallen by the wayside and I did not have the focus to think about setting it up again. We needed to reboot, but I just was not there yet.

But, the students kept asking. Some even emailed me. It soon became apparent that the students really needed this from me. So, I began looking at my lessons and trying to decide when I could fit this in…

And then it clicked. I do not need to do any “work” setting this up. This is OUR classroom, not MINE. They are part of this class and should have a VOICE and CHOICE.

So, I made a quick Google Form asking them their top 4 job choices (they could create new jobs or stick with old) and tell me a job they absolutely did not want.

Reader, let me tell you, this was amazing. The jobs I got from the students covered everything we needed for our class. Everyone got their first or second choice. I even had someone create a “Door Greeter” job because he felt that everyone needed to feel welcome.

Sometimes, when you release control, you get amazing results. Today, I released control on what “jobs” our classroom “needed” and let the kids decide. I have a feeling that because they got a choice, they will perform their job so well.

Have a wonderful day. Thank you for reading.

I am a middle school English Language Arts and Social Studies teacher.

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