As I approach my second year of teaching, I am constantly adding to my “Things To Do Differently Next Year” list. Reflection is such an important part of teaching, and I find it much easier to reflect and ponder my year over the summer as I bask in the sun rather than at night after a busy day at school. With a few weeks left of summer, my list is still growing, but it houses some major changes I want to implement immediately.
(Please hold while I weep, as I just realized that summer ends in less than a month.)
Ok, I’ve composed myself.
If I had to choose one item on my list, and only one, I would better delegate tasks to my student leaders. Delegation accomplishes two things:
- It gives more purpose and responsibility to my student leaders.
- It will give me more focus to the tasks that only I can do.
First, let’s look at some tasks that don’t necessarily need to be done by the teacher:
- Attendance – A student can take daily attendance on a hard copy, and you can input it in your school’s system later.
- Uniform measurement/distribution/inventory
- Warm Ups (While I like to always do warm ups, there may be a time when I am running behind and a student leader can jump in!)
- Technology setup (Drama club kids are ideal!)
- Desk/office phone answering
- Form/homework collection
- Handing out material
- Copying material (Unless you don’t like students using your copier, for reasons such as, oh, maybe, copying their faces and hanging them onyour bulletin board…)
- Retrieving music for students who forget their folders/lose their music
Of course, your list could be more or less extensive depending on the size of your program, but the above are fairly common tasks we experience daily. Delegating these tasks allows me to focus on rehearsal preparation, informal evaluation, and classroom management, or as I call it, “crowd control.”
In order to have successful delegation, there needs to be clear expectations by both student leaders and the ensemble as a whole. Putting specific procedures in place at the beginning of the year that support your delegation will lead to productive and uninterrupted rehearsals. For example, when students come in late, have a procedure for which student leader receives their pass, how they mark it in your attendance book, and where they store the late passes. Taking the time to review your procedures and write a detailed plan for how they are executed can benefit you greatly as you start the school year. The less time we spend with our “administrative” tasks, the more time we have to teach our content.
Next, it gives a sense of ownership to your students. When they feel that their job is important and appreciated, they feel obligated to serve their ensemble well and make a difference. Student leaders can do incredible things!!
What are some tasks that you delegate to students? What are some procedures that are working wonders for you? Share in the comments, or feel free to contact me!