Thirty years of classroom experience makes Mary Rose a teaching expert. We've asked her to answer a question from a new teacher. Hear her advice!

The Question:
Mary, do you still have classroom helpers in the 4th grade? It seems so silly to have a line leader for children this old, but they are still fighting to be first in line. And what other helper jobs do you have to suggest?

Mary Rose's Answer:
I taught kindergarten and 1st grade for 20 years, and they always wanted to be the line leader, so I thought when I went to fourth grade, I wouldn't have those silly little classroom helper charts. But they still want to be the line leader — they're just taller now, that's all; it's a taller line leader. What I've done recently is I've chosen more sophisticated jobs for them. I have an electronics person, and his job is to turn on all the computers and the television and take care of that overhead projector for me. And then I have the classroom helpers and errand runners. Those jobs seem to be more desirable than, you know, door holder, like they had back in kindergarten. So yes, I do have classroom helpers, and the children really enjoy it. One advantage of doing that also is that you can teach each child in the room how to set up and shut down all the computers and how to boot up the computers and how to turn off the different applications before they shut them down, and every child gets a personal lesson. I figured out that if I do only have four jobs and I have 24 kids, every child will have every job at least once during the school year.