I believe in fostering a "Learning Family" environment in my classroom. Towards that end I give many of my students a job in our class. This seems to please the little ones.....no job is too small. Each job is viewed as something special.
One of the students in my class is...is....let's just say he is a pip. I just love him so much. He is smart, funny, and is in possession of a really great sense of humor. Sadly, his family life is not the most peaceful environment (as can be said of so many in my class....the reality of working in a school located in the 'hood).
One of his jobs is the Keeper of the Time when students go to the restroom either as a class or individually. Trust me, this needs to be done since some of them go to the restroom and forget that they have a class to return to...if not for my timer they would be gone for the rest of the day. Doing what, you may ask....well, I have caught them wandering the hallways..."visiting" other classrooms....drinking 500 billion gallons of water.....
Sooooo, I gave my little guy the title "King of the Timers" and taught him how to set the most basic ones and be on the "look-out" if a timer goes off and one of our Family Members has not returned from a trek to the restroom.
This is a job he took very seriously....v e r y - s e r i o u s l y.....and pretty soon he decided he would personally go and get the boys who dawdled....(I generally let my kiddos perform their jobs as they see fit....this allows for them to infuse their personalities in their tasks).
However, I soon had to curb his enthusiasm for his new-found power when yesterday he heard the alarm, snapped it off, said "Right, this has gone on long enough", and left our room in a sharp march that would have made Patton proud.
A few nano-seconds later - while the class and I were discovering the fun of numbers and their two parts- my little man returned with one of our classmates right behind him. The poor kid had neither a choice nor a chance....my little Restroom-and-Timer Gestapo had him by the hand....but to my dismay, things were not right with this picture...
"_________, you cannot just pull people out of the restroom! You HAVE to give them time to pull their pants up!"
Power, in any form, most certainly corrupts.