written by: Julia Bodeeb
• edited by: Laurie Patsalides
• updated: 8/2/2012
Student classroom helpers are a great help to any teacher. When they are involved in peer tutoring and minor tasks about the classroom it helps others with learning and also makes the routines of the classroom flow more smoothly. Student helpers are eager, so harness their interest in these ways.
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At the high school level, student classroom helpers are invaluable to a teacher. Many motivated and academically strong students want to be a student helper to reach out and help other students and to help the teacher with tasks around the classroom.
Ask student helpers to brainstorm project ideas that relate to current lesson topics and that they think classmates would enjoy. During group work times if student helpers are done with their work they could circulate the room to ask student about project ideas. Often students themselves come up with some of the most interesting project ideas that relate to the real world and the literature under discussion.
Student helpers may peer-tutor other students to help them understand difficult concepts. During group work, if a student helper is done with his or her work, they may circulate the room and help other students via answering questions about the assignment and going over details that the student may not understand. Peer tutoring helps other students feel more comfortable asking questions.
Student helpers may wish to help decorate the classroom boards after they are done with their class work or during tutoring time after school. Students are often very creative when coming up with ideas for new boards. Give them the themes of upcoming lessons and let them create the ideas for the boards.
Maintaining Classroom Plants
Many teachers keep plants in the classroom to make the environment feel less sterile and to help clean the air in the classroom at the same time. Student helpers may enjoy keeping the plants watered and attend to keeping them looking healthy.
Student helpers are able to help out by circulating a birthday card around the room to get all to sign it to wish another student a happy birthday. They could also make a board for the room announcing the birthdays in each month.
Student helpers enjoy helping out with special tasks, such as putting up decorations around the time of a holiday, or creating a “goal tree" to list the career goals of each student. Ask student helpers to think of ideas for special projects to create a beautiful and educational classroom. Their ideas are often fabulous and unique.
Keep baskets in the room of lost and found items and books that are being used for projects. When needed, ask student helpers to circulate the room and distribute the items.
Help Shut Down Room in Lock-Down
Student helpers may turn off the lights or pull down the window blinds if the intercom announces a lock-down situation. If students know ahead of time which tasks they will do, this will help the teacher quickly secure the classroom while she or he is busy shutting and locking the classroom doors and windows.
Plan Year-End Projects
Student helpers may have some creative ideas to help create a special year-end project for students. Ask them for ideas and let them help in planning and putting the event together.
A Reciprocal Relationshpi
A teacher benefits greatly from utilizing student helpers in the classroom. Students also benefit. They get experience tutoring other students and experience with handling minor tasks in the classroom. Student classroom helpers will also receive a wonderful reference letter at the end of the school year.