Giving students responsibility for practical “daily operation” activities is helpful in several ways, such as…
–building camaraderie in the group
–maintaining a sense of order, cleanliness and purpose in the daily routines
–experiencing the value of contributing “real work” in simple routines.
With some imaginative concentration, the staff can generate lists of things to assign individual students. Some ideas (which must be adapted to specific settings) might include…
Unlocking/locking doors other than the front door at the beginning and end of the school day; keeping clocks adjusted; keeping paper towel dispensers full; keep playground equipment storage area in neat order; checking that no playground equipment is left outside at end of day; keeping tables, chairs, etc, in place; answer phone/deliver messages at teacher’s direction; shut down computers at end of day, turn appropriate lights on/off.
Think about routines that should be happening to keep things running smoothly.
Also, don’t forget a supervisor. There’s probably some student who has the gifting to keep track of what should be happening and see that others are “doing their thing” without nagging them. This type of person can also help the “irresponsible” person remember to take his homework home. One of the “jobs” could involve a student announcing at a set time over dismissal–“Let’s remember _____________ for tomorrow” He/she could also be assigned to specifically buddy/mentor that “forgetter” student who has his workbook in hand to take home but somehow manages to leave it behind.
The bottom line…Cultivate a sense in your classroom that we do these things together.