Educator Paulette Chaffee believes a job-responsibility program in the classroom can help students with behavioral problems


Children’s social and emotional development can vary in a classroom setting. Some students will be more developed than others, resulting in teachers having to educate while managing group behavior. Paulette Chaffee, teacher and children’s advocate, has observed that a proactive approach to managing class conduct while assisting students with behavioral problems is to set up a job-responsibility program within the classroom.

Why should teachers assign classroom jobs?

Teachers work incredibly hard, and a little extra help in the classroom can go a long way for both the teacher and the students. Creating a job-responsibility program allows every student to be involved in their learning experience while gaining a sense of responsibility, accountability, and self-confidence. Assigning every student a role in the classroom is an act of trust. A teacher trusts that each student can fulfill a delegated responsibility that contributes to the group. Teachers that embrace this type of classroom environment create a safe and successful learning space for all students.

How does a job-responsibility program in the classroom help students with behavioral problems?

Classrooms can change for the better when a teacher connects with students based on trust, responsibility, and accountability by assigning meaningful classroom job responsibilities. Doing so creates a solid foundation to address students with behavioral problems and develops healthy and positive relationships in the school setting. In addition, fostering these types of relationships is helpful for students with behavioral issues as they promote emotional balance and consistency.

A job-responsibility program also creates class structure and routine, which can help students who are often prone to interruption.

What are the steps to setting up an effective job-responsibility program in the classroom?

The first step a teacher can take to implement a job-responsibility program within the classroom is to list every daily classroom task that needs little to no supervision and can be assigned to a student. A teacher can decide to give to-dos through a rotation system, long-term jobs, or individual or group tasks depending on the students. After assigning students tasks and reviewing the system as a class, educators should display all jobs and those responsible for everyone in the class to see easily. Job-responsibility programs can be rearranged as often as needed and adding performance reviews can help determine appropriate systematic changes.

How can parents of a student with behavioral problems best help their child in the school setting?

Parents play a critical role in a child’s social, emotional, and educational development. Parental support can set a student up for success in the school setting. However, for parents whose child is struggling with behavior problems, the steps to help can seem unclear. Accredited Schools Online suggests the first step a parent can take is to make an appointment for their child with a licensed counselor, medical doctor, or psychiatrist to determine if the child has a behavioral disorder.

Understanding where the behavioral problems stem from and what a child needs can generate a more successful solution. Parents should connect with teachers, communicate any known behavioral issues a student might have, and keep an open, ongoing, and proactive dialogue with teachers to collaborate to aid a child’s development. It is also vital for parents to actively listen to teachers’ insights on a student’s behavior in a class.

At home, parents can productively engage with their child by remaining calm when in the presence of or interacting with their child. In addition, scheduling time for a child to relax and have downtime helps as it is critical for brain development.

About Paulette Chaffee

Paulette Chaffee is a teacher, speech therapist, and attorney deeply involved in the Fullerton community. As an educator and member of various non-profit boards, her focus has always been on providing children with the highest quality education. Ms. Chaffee holds bachelor’s and master’s degrees from the University of Redlands, a California Lifetime Teaching Credential, and is admitted to the California Bar.