Janice Paterson – a terrific teacher in NE Fife – posted this reponse to an earlier post of mine. It is so lovely I decided to copy it (and my reply) here:

P7 pupils worked in groups and then as a class to come up with the following job descriptions. They are both very similar! They’re going in the school’s handbook and have become the starting point for a very effective, child centred, pupil produced anti-bullying policy.

A GOOD LEARNER’S JOB DESCRIPTION

• Feels happy and safe in school – smiles!

• Has a sense of humour

• Is supportive

• Helps everyone

• Is a good listener

• Lets everyone have a say

• Is patient

• Is fair

• Does homework on time

• Doesn’t give up, just tries again

• Puts up a hand to speak rather than shouting out

• Remembers that education is shared with others

• Says please and thank you – it makes us all feel good!

• Asks for help – teachers don’t read minds!

• Teaches – it’s a great way to learn! By P7

A GOOD TEACHER’S JOB DESCRIPTION

• Makes everyone feel safe and happy

• Has a sense of humour

• Is supportive

• Helps everyone

• Has no favourites

• Is a good listener

• Lets everyone have a say

• Is patient

• Is fair

• Is not judgemental

• Is well-educated

• Gets to know the pupils

• Enjoys the job

• Gives extra

• Keeps discipline

• Doesn’t shout

• Is not superior or condescending

• Makes things fun

I replied:

Wonderful! Thanks so much for this.
I visited a school in Stirling once which involved the children in the interviewing for new staff. A group spoke to prospective teachers, outlining a job description they had devised, asked questions and contributed to the final decision as to who was appointed. On one occasion a candidate who played the piano was preferred over another who seemed the liveliest (and perhaps most obvious) candidate. The musician was appointed.
Did you see the advert that the children at Melvich School in the Highlands made? The school needs a new head teacher so the children made a film and posted it on YouTube: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_r_LuGDJCNw
I would have liked them to have described what they were looking for rather than just shouting but this is an idea that encourages responsibility – as long as the children’s position is respected.

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