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    A different take...
    By pg

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    We have three jobs: "friend," "teacher," "manager." We rotate these through the class, so everyone gets a turn.

    The "friend" is responsible for thinking of the class members, emphasizing social skills ~ deciding who gets to line up first, which sorts of groups will be working together, selecting names when we have a lottery for prizes...

    The "teacher" is responsible for thinking of the learning experience, emphasizing intellectual skills ~ calling on classmates to answer questions, using the overhead to write answers down and go over the homework, leading a discussion...

    The "manager" is responsible for thinking of how the period is organized and how the class will respond to this, emphasizing emotional needs ~ when to pass out papers, how much time to spend on an activity, deciding when the class is settled enough to leave the room...

    We discuss how these roles are teaching them social, intellectual, and emotional skills at the start of the year, before assigning these. Everyone likes the role of teacher best ~ and it is AMAZING to see them play this one out! For all roles, and ESPECIALLY for the teacher ~ I throw all the responsibilities that I can think of (and that they are up for) at them.

    We also discuss how everyone may have a different way of carrying out these roles ~ so that there is less room for dispute when maybe they are asked to do less. That naturally leads into a discussion about how to handle it if they aren't up for their role altogether (whether due to shyness, immaturity, or mismanagement). If they don't take on the role ~ I might say they have retired or are on sabbatical. They think that these words are so cute that they don't really question it further! Also ~ if they are misbehaving in the role, I will remind them of the point of these and (if need be) suggest that people who can't do a job properly will be "let go."

    :o I'm very bad with names ~ but this is no problem with this system. I just call out (for example), "Friend, what should we do for..." "Teacher, what do you think about..." "Manager, how should we..." It's really very easy ~ the only work is remembering to post whose turn it is to take which role. (They will get their noses out of joint if I make a mistake.)

    LOL On a really fun day, I will even take a poll on the social, emotional, intellectual performance of the class before the period starts. I simply ask whoever has that particular role how the class is doing. It's good ~ causing them to reflect, to get some peer feedback, and to share the responsibility with me for noting their challenges.

    :D Better yet, I know that the students are having a say in the learning ~ by the end of the year, they are leading the learning. So I can move confidently, not having to worry about whether or not I'm making the best choices for them... They are making the choices!

    :confused: ...If you have stuck with me this far and have some thoughts about all of this, I would love hearing from you! I really enjoy doing this, but I often wonder what other people might think of me for going this route!

    Thanks ~

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