In determining the garden jobs, we consider three main factors:
- Can many hands complete the task? We strive to offer jobs that an entire group of 6 to 10 students can be involved in for an entire working period.
- Is the task authentic to the needs of the garden? Similar to the pedagogy behind empowering students with real tools, we present real jobs that give students gardening skills they can work towards mastering over their three years as well as truly maintaining the space. Four of our most common and authentic jobs that students master and that we will participate in today are: harvesting, propagating, composting, and cultivating
- Do the tasks appeal to the diverse interests and energy levels of our students? In every garden class we present a variety of jobs that appeal to all students. For example students with incredibly high energy will thrive in more physical jobs or artistic students love a job in which they can spend the working period painting colorful signs for the garden beds.
In considering these factors, we are able to be intentional about presenting jobs that engage every student in our vastly diverse student body. As part of opening circle, garden teachers each give a brief description of the garden job he or she will be leading. This ritual encourages students to volunteer for the garden job that appeals most to him or her with open-mindedness and gives garden teachers an opportunity to co-teach.