One of the goals of teaching is fostering student ownership in the classroom. This can look different from classroom to classroom. Ultimately we want to move students from being dependent on us to be able to do things independently.
Class Jobs that give students ownership
Allowing students to have ownership in the classroom through class jobs is one of the easiest ways for students to feel like they belong in the space. When teachers release some of that control, it allows students to make it their own. This can be hard for many teachers because we often tend to be perfectionists or like to have that control. When students learn to take care of the classroom, it allows them to feel pride in their environment. As students develop in these areas, they will begin to suggest other roles or ways to improve current roles.
Routines that foster independence.
Routines are needed for students to gain independence in the classroom. When students know what to do, there’s less confusion and misbehaviors. Routines and consistency help students work within the classroom on autopilot. However, if you’ve been teaching for any amount of time, you know that schedules change all the time in the classroom. The three routines that happen no matter how crazy our day is our morning routine, afternoon routine, and our silent reading routine. By making sure you start and end your day the same way, give your students a sense of comfort.
Student Voice & Celebrations
Making sure students feel like their voice is heard and that they feel loved and appreciated will help foster student ownership. One way is to have a class meeting (at least once a week) so students can voice their concerns or ask questions safely. This is also a great time to allow students to create jobs, routines, or other ways for students to put their mark on the classroom. Another way is to celebrate students through their birthdays or having a student of the week. This allows for students to showcase their uniqueness and everyone learns how special each student is.