Starting a Recycling Program: Payday
I want to pay my students for their efforts too. My original idea was to start a trash-for-cash business; my students would receive actual money for their efforts. After some preliminary investigation in our area, I doubt that’s possible.
Still, I want my students to learn the ins and outs of starting a business, and they need to be compensated for their work. Candy, however, is out of the question. For one thing, I’d have to buy the stuff out of my meager paycheck. For another thing, my students already get too much candy—I see those jaws working furiously every class period—and many of my students are overweight. So, no candy.
But Ricochet’s comment made me think back to the year I taught in a private school. That was the year I started a classroom economy. Every student had a job (janitor, librarian, class historian, etc.) and every student was paid for his or her work in classroom cash, which the kids elected to call “$tones.” Students could earn extra $tones by taking on more responsibilities. They could also lose $tones by being fined for talking without permission or creating other disturbances in the classroom or for failing to do their homework.
About every six weeks, the kids brought toys and books and crafts they no longer wanted and we held an auction. Students used their $tones to buy things that caught their fancy. Everyone had a good time.
Which brings me to my current school. Why not pay my middle-school recyclers in classroom cash and hold an auction every six weeks? Everyone loves to get paid for her efforts, and everyone loves a bargain.
I think it would be a win-win situation. The environment would win because we’d help to relieve its indigestion caused by a plethora of paper in the landfill, and the students would win because they would be learning invaluable life skills.
Day by day my idea for a recycling program/business at our middle school grows and matures. I can hardly wait for summer to be over so that I can finally begin to implement it.