My sons are two years apart, but they both had the same preschool teacher. Her class was called the Brown Bears. Every week, each brown bear was assigned a different helper role in the classroom. My boys would come home at the start of the week and happily announce their new job. Eventually, they got a chance to try them all.
For some reason, I started thinking about their preschool class while driving to work yesterday. I can vividly remember the Brown Bear helper chart that tracked the assignments. I decided to take a crack at customizing the preschool helper roles I found online for grown-ups in the workplace. Similar to preschool, we’re instinctively drawn to serve the people we interact with everyday.
Generally speaking, adults don’t need much monitoring in the bathroom. It also may be someone’s paid job to clean up the restrooms in regular intervals. In between cleanings the bathroom monitor takes it upon themselves to tidy up. They may also donate supplies to help out a fellow co-worker in need (feminine products, mouthwash, lotion, etc).
The bell ringer helps us maintain a healthy rhythm to our workdays. They suggest breaks, lunch times, and nudge us out the door at night.
In preschool this is the person that walks at the end of the line. I don’t see much walking in a line at work. I like to think of the Caboose in the office as the last person out for the day. They turn off the lights and large power-draining electronics like the copier. They also make sure all office doors are secure.
This is the person that checks in and makes sure people have what they need. They know how and where to get supplies. They also know a workaround to almost every issue you could encounter in the office.
This person is a sounding board and soother of feelings to everyone in the office. They know how to listen and they can be trusted. Two incredible combinations.
The application in the office is obvious, but I’m not really sure how this applies in preschool. This is the person at work that knows how to fix minor technical and user error issues. Their skills are always in need even in offices that have internal technical support staff.
I know what you’re thinking, “Why would someone heat spaghetti in the office microwave without covering it?” But it happens. This is a perfect challenge for someone in the role of custodian. They don’t get angry. They simply give the office kitchen a quick wipe down. Microwave, counters…everything. No it’s not their job, but that’s what makes them a great office helper.
Regardless of gender, this person looks for times to hold the door open for colleagues. It’s a small gesture, but it briefly shows people they are worthy of the helper’s effort.
Let’s call this one “Coffee Monitor.” Critical job in any office. If they see the coffee getting low, they’ll make some mo’!
Ever vigilant about educating and encouraging eco-friendly office practices.
They nominate themselves to look after the plants of those on vacation or traveling.
They come in ready to give everyone that special kind of “Good Morning” that sounds like they actually mean it.
This person starts talking about lunch right after everyone arrives in the morning. They know all the potential lunch options and don’t mind calling in the orders, picking up the food or meeting the delivery man. Most importantly, this person collects money and settles up the lunch related expenses.
In the office, nobody really monitors lunch. So let’s call this one “Refrigerator Monitor” instead. This person immediately throws out anything disgusting and encourages the labeling and regular clean out of the shared office refrigerator.
This person always knows the weather forecast for tomorrow AND next week. They remind you when you need to bring things home because of a pending snow storm. They also help you plan your weather appropriate wardrobe for the rest of the week.
These are the ones I could not match up with an office service. If you have any suggestions on how to apply them at work, please school us in the comments. Thanks!
- Center Monitor
- Electrician (Is this really a job in preschool?)
- Flag Holder/Pledge Leader
- Line Leader
- Materials Monitor
- Paper Passer
- Calendar Helper
- Snack Helper
- Folder Passer
- Table Washer
- Equipment Manager
- Chair Stacker
- Shoe Expert