As for delegating real responsibilities – We have students responsible for cleaning chores. Every evening one students empties the mini trash cans (that sit on the class tables) into the larger classroom trash can. We have a pencil collector that that collects all the pencils at the end of the day so I can sharpen them (and yes, I sharpen them. Six-year-olds waste pencils and are hard on the pencil sharpener.) Once a week all of the students pitch in and help clean our classroom, doing specific jobs that are assigned to them. After lunch a student is responsible to wipe off the table and another student is responsible to sweep under our lunch table.
Other things happen at random depending on the responsibility and students. I’m in charge of the school phone so sometimes I need to give messages to other teachers or students. Depending on the nature of the message or time of day, I may send a student with a note. I try not to make many trips to the school dumpster but send students out with trash or boxes. Often times these responsibilities are given to a student who needs to get out and do something.
I should look at more ways to make the students responsible. Sometimes I am a “lazy” teacher and will get students to do things for me. Other times I’m too particular and it is just easier to do the job myself.
Does anyone have ideas on how to help irresponsible students become more responsible for themselves? Such as the 6th grader who can still walk out of the classroom without his homework even though he’d had it in his hands two minutes before the dismissal bell went?