Once you've developed that sense of community in the classroom, a great way to support that is to give each child a responsibility, a way of taking care of the classroom and being a part of the classroom. So we call it in our classroom Helping Hands. It's a chance for every child to be responsible for a job, a job that as a teacher you don't have a lot of time to do, and as a child, they feel quite happy and responsible doing it. A job might be watering your plants or taking a note to the office or delivering something to another classroom, but it's their responsibility for a certain amount of time. That's set up in our classroom after the TRIBES agreements are created, and the students actually create an outline of their hand, cut it out, and draw on that outline various activities or things that they like. It gives them a chance to express themselves artistically, and then each week their clip might be attached to a job and it might not, so if it's not we call it being on vacation.
The goal of Helping Hands: Sharing Classroom Responsibilities (Virtual Tour) is to establish a regular classroom routine and help students develop responsible behaviors by taking on different classroom jobs.
- Helping Hands supports a sense of community in the classroom. When students become engaged in caring for their classroom they develop a sense of responsibility and respect.