Tuesday Teacher Tips: Classroom Helpers

Sure, you see all sorts of great Classroom Helper Tips and Resources on Pinterest and TeachersPayTeacher. Twenty jobs all over a bulletin board, with jobs like Line Leader all the way to Shoe Lace Manager. Sure, it looks wonderful, but when you see everyone in action, it usually turns a teacher's wonderful day into pure chaos. Try my simple plan that has proven successful for over twenty years. By Fern Smith from Fern Smith's Classroom Ideas.
 Tuesday Teacher Tips: Classroom Helpers

Previously, every Tuesday Michelle, from Teach 123, and I had a new installment of my favorite post, Tuesday Teacher Tips!

This week's tip is about classroom helpers. 
Sure, you see all sorts of great things on Pinterest and TPT. Twenty jobs all over a bulletin board, with jobs like Line Leader all the way to Shoe Lace Manager. Sure, it looks wonderful, but when you see everyone in action, it usually turns a teacher's wonderful day into pure chaos.
Sure, you see all sorts of great Classroom Helper Tips and Resources on Pinterest and TeachersPayTeacher. Twenty jobs all over a bulletin board, with jobs like Line Leader all the way to Shoe Lace Manager. Sure, it looks wonderful, but when you see everyone in action, it usually turns a teacher's wonderful day into pure chaos. Try my simple plan that has proven successful for over twenty years. By Fern Smith from Fern Smith's Classroom Ideas.
I've had a simple plan for over twenty years. If you are new to following my blog, I've spent most of my career in Title I schools. Absenteeism due to a variety of reasons is usually our biggest problem. If you are constantly absent, you just don't receive a full, quality education.

The system I use for helpers really helps cut down on absenteeism. I have two helpers each day. I go down an alphabetical list, two at a time. 
Sure, you see all sorts of great Classroom Helper Tips and Resources on Pinterest and TeachersPayTeacher. Twenty jobs all over a bulletin board, with jobs like Line Leader all the way to Shoe Lace Manager. Sure, it looks wonderful, but when you see everyone in action, it usually turns a teacher's wonderful day into pure chaos. Try my simple plan that has proven successful for over twenty years. By Fern Smith from Fern Smith's Classroom Ideas.
At the end of the day, when everyone is in line I move the pins down to the next two students and I turn to them and say, "Anna and Calvin, you have to be here tomorrow, you're my helpers." And then I give that day's helpers a piece of candy....yep, ONE ENTIRE PIECE OF CANDY...no one else. They've been excited to help all day and the candy is just a little extra thank you. When I was in a "no food reward" school in Texas, it was a sticker, an eraser or a pencil. Use what you like, just make it something that only your helpers get. 

With two helpers a day, everyone usually gets a turn every two weeks. Last year's class loved to count down the list at the end of the day and figure out what day would be their turn.

For this to help with absenteeism, you have to be a little bit firm, if they miss their turn, they have to wait until it cycles back to their name. Now, if the poor kid broke his arm, I might say to the class, "Since Calvin was a the hospital yesterday, we're going to go back up to his name." Then everyone agrees and it helps to foster a sense of kindness too.

This system also keeps your instructional time flowing smoothly.
  • Someone needs to go to the clinic, send the two helpers.
  • The office needs some forms picked up, no need to have hands waving in the air, pick me, pick me...just sent the two helpers.
  • Line leader is the first name, door holder is the second name.
  • Who gets to get their lunch first? The helpers!
  • Who gets to go to recess first? The helpers!
  • You need some books returned to the teacher across the hall? Send the two helpers!
This helps you, the teacher, not have to stop a lot to make decisions, and your instruction time can just continue to flow!  
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Sure, you see all sorts of great Classroom Helper Tips and Resources on Pinterest and TeachersPayTeacher. Twenty jobs all over a bulletin board, with jobs like Line Leader all the way to Shoe Lace Manager. Sure, it looks wonderful, but when you see everyone in action, it usually turns a teacher's wonderful day into pure chaos. Try my simple plan that has proven successful for over twenty years. By Fern Smith from Fern Smith's Classroom Ideas.
 Looking for more tips? 
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Back to School Time Pinterest Board
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Fern Smith's Classroom Ideas Back to School Time Pinterest Board
 Michelle has some great tips about classroom helpers and what has worked for her in the classroom that she would like to share with you, too.
Be sure to head over to her blog!
Teach123's Tuesday Teacher Tip
In addition to our tips each week, we are hoping that you will share some of your ideas in the comments below!
 Tuesday Teacher Tips: Pencil Management at Fern Smith's Classroom Ideas
Each week we will choose one person who shared a tip on our blog to get a $10 shopping trip. We will announce the winner in the following Tuesday's post. The winner for today, July 22nd will be announced on the July 29th post. 
Tuesday Teacher Tips: Classroom Helpers
Do you have a great classroom helper tip to share?
Please be sure to include your email so I can contact you if you're the winner of the $10 shopping trip.
 
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