Fifth graders at Parkview Heights Elementary are learning the importance of hard work, and not just when it comes to homework.

Every year, fifth grade teacher Pete Langenhan assigns his students jobs to teach them responsibility.

“I know it’s an important thing to teach responsibility and I want to establish that with kids,” Langenhan said.

Jobs include teacher helpers where students assist in different classrooms, student mentors where fifth graders work with younger students on things such as math and vocabulary and office aids whose duties include delivering items to classrooms and students, and shredding papers.

While each student has a job, all of them share in the recycling job which is referred to as Recycling Ninjas.

On Wednesdays, students go to classrooms and collect recycling bins and dump them outside.

“We are ninjas because we are sneaky,” Langenhan said. “We don’t want to interrupt the classes.”

Langenhan said his class enjoys having jobs and because of that, they are treated as a reward for their hard work in the classroom.

If they do not follow the rules and complete their homework, their duties will be revoked, he said.

Fifth grader Riley Casey said his favorite part of having a job at school is helping others. In addition to being a recycling ninja, Riley is a student mentor.

“It’s fun to help,” he said. “It’s important to help other students so they can continue to learn and so they grow.”

Students are held accountable for their job positions and Riley believes that helped him grow into a more dependable student.

“I think it’s helping all of us learn responsibility,” he said. “At the beginning of the year, not all of us were responsible, but now after getting to do this and seeing how fun it is, we all learned responsibility.”

Langenhan said the jobs also help them become more independent.

“It’s great to see them grow from the beginning of the year to the end of the year. I just want to get them prepared for sixth grade,” he said.

In his class, Langenhan said he tries to instill kindness in his students.

“We like to talk about that in the classroom and how we can help our neighbors and working with one another,” he said.

As students continue to take pride in their jobs and helping others, Langenhan takes great pride in his class.

“Every day, I feel proud of them,” he said.

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