Most schools follow a typical schedule that's hardened by contractual obligations between the administrators and teachers.
For example, most teachers follow a schedule like this one:
Period 1 -2 Drinking Coffee and Teaching
Period 3 Duty...
Period 4 -5 Teach Like a Rockstar
Period 6 Lunch
Period 7 Prep
Period 8 Shot of Espresso w/ Teaching
Typical duties include: hallway monitor, attendance office, study hall, lunch monitor, detention room monitor, among other similar drudgery tasks.
Don't get me wrong, many of these duties are necessary, but what about thinking creatively about what else staff can do to help build the school up?
A few schools are thinking outside the box about what else teachers can do for a "duty" that maximize teacher's creativity and abilities.
These schools start by offering teachers to create their own duty.
Here a 5 unique duty options to offer teachers:
1. Social Media Manager:
For the social-media savvy teacher, this duty consists of sending out 5-10 tweets per day using bufferapp.com. Also, check out Hootsuite. Tweets could include a healthy lunch option offered, highlights from yesterday's sporting events, positive quotes to pique student interest. Tip: Use a hashtag appropriate for your school if you want a response.
This teacher can also update the Facebook and Instagram pages (among others if you choose) to showcase school events, give a shout out to student exemplars, and blast out beautiful inspirational photos.
FYI: Yes, a lot of schools fear social media because there's little control. Keep this in mind, however. Students are on social media and they need a positive role model. When schools model how to be professional with social media, students will follow. One of the leading causes of cyber bullying is a lack of a positive social media model (tweet this!).
2. Interior Designer:
This teacher dabbles in artistic splendor and takes charge of how to make the school look aesthetically appealing. Options include painting murals on the school and if a budget allows, adding plants and art to the school. Even better, this teacher can pull out those gifted and talented students who need some extra empowerment and use their skills to beautify the school.
3. Field Trip Organizer:
We learn best through experience and the easiest experience for students is a field trip. However, lack of money and time make this difficult. This teacher's duty is to find grants and help organize logistics for teachers who want to take their students on a field trip. This idea came from a teacher who loves to travel and was a travel agent in a past life.
4. Fundraising Planner
Last week, I talked about bringing in money through crowd funding platforms like Kickstarter and Indiegogo. This teacher loves to budget and is your go-to person to raise funds for a range of activities. Some examples include a school garden, bringing in a speaker, or new uniforms for the school teams.
5. Dream Director
Okay, yes, this sounds super cheesy. But, I've seen this done very well. Just look at The Future Project. This teacher would meet with a group of hand-picked entrepreneurial students once per day to talk about an entrepreneurial venture students want to go on.
For example, one student last year created a website/blog that shared her passion for natural African American hair products. It was a beautiful and expressive website that focused on female empowerment.
On the opposite spectrum, a young boy dreamed of putting his sketches on skateboards to bring about social-change and awareness.
This teacher's duty is to simply guide these students and attempt to Google answers with them and motivate them to continue working on an entrepreneurial venture.