- Taylor Independent School District
Learning to Lead
By: Ryan Newsom, student communications intern and class of 2023.
Main Street Intermediate (MSI) Principal Kerri Pierce initiated a new hands-on, fun and interactive way for students to feel a part of their school this past year. She introduced a new program called MSI Jobs. As part of the program, every student is given a job within the school, allowing them to take on leadership roles and feel like part of their school's community.
“It really gives them ownership of their school,” Pierce said. "It feels like they're doing something more for their school, not just coming here to sit at a desk and learn.”
The program is designed to promote responsibility and inclusivity among students. Pierce believes that the program helped create a positive and happy environment at MSI.
One of the key benefits of allowing students to have jobs around the campus is that it gives the students a sense of ownership of their school. By assigning every student a job, the program helps students feel like they are contributing to the community in a meaningful way, rather than just going through the motions of attending classes.
There were eleven jobs ranging from safety patrol to gardening, and students were encouraged to take their responsibilities seriously. While some students took to their jobs with ease, others struggled with the added responsibility. Pierce saw that as a valuable learning opportunity.
When applying for a position, students were asked to fill out an application listing their top three job choices based on a list of available jobs and their descriptions. While the school tried to give every student their top choice, there were some jobs, such as gardening, that were in high demand.
“My job as a gardener is helping the school by making things look nicer and more taken care of," said student Reagan Westerman. “I feel that it helps me learn responsibility because we have to keep our plants watered and make sure our tubs are nice and filled.”
To ensure fairness, students were split into groups based on their first choice and then the counselor and principal looked at their applications and references to determine the best fit for each job. By involving students with what they enjoy, the school hopes to promote responsibility and accountability, while also bringing a sense of community and inclusion.
“It was a really thoughtful and long process but completely worth it,” said Pierce.
The Jobs also extended to the classrooms where teachers assign jobs to their students such as passing out papers or being the line leader for the week.
The MSI Jobs became a big part of the school community and improved the campus in various ways, but they are not stopping there. The jobs will help introduce the Leader In Me initiative that the school plans to fully implement next school year. With the Leader In Me, students will learn about the 7 Habits of Happy Kids and help build leadership and life skills in students.
Photo 1: Students raise the flags at MSI during this past school year as part of the school’s jobs program to teach responsibility and leadership. (Photo by Ryan Newsom)