I love doing lunch duty. I love doing gate duty. I love doing crossing duty. Don’t get me wrong, please don’t give me more, but I do love it. It’s just I think it is such a great time to engage and interact with students outside of the classroom environment. It’s a great way to demonstrate to all students that you’re a team player and a great role model. It’s a really good opportunity to catch up with students and ask them things like how school is going. One of the things I like the most is that it often shows the school off at its best. The hustle. The bustle. It’s the breathing life, heart and soul of the school.
As a teacher we are in the business of building relationships. Chatting with them and catching up with them in a way that you couldn’t do during class time. One of my enduring images of duty was when I saw some Year 13 students helping out some ‘new-to-the-school’ Year 7s learning the ropes in the main hall. It was special.
If you don’t love duty like I do; here are some tips I found that I do to make the time a bit more endearing.
- Be happy. Even if you’re feeling like rubbish yourself, chances are that many of the students you speak with are having a tough time too. It’s difficult being a teenager or younger pupil. You might just make someone’s day.
- Pick up a bin and take it to the students. Ask them if they’ve got any rubbish.
- Be visible. Go to the students. If they’re not where your spot is, chances are they may well be nearby doing something that you should probably be keeping an eye on. Move to them.
- Have fun. Tell a joke. Ask people what their day has been like. Ask pupils how their weekend was. I tell you the best part of my week is Friday on the crossing seeing all those happy face. What do you do when you’re on duty?