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Meaningful Work

Meaningful Work: Changing Student Behavior with School Jobs grew from the frustration that every educator feels when faced with students who are best at being bad. These students, like all of us, are looking for an area in which to excel. Unfortunately, students who misbehave have found that they are very good at being bad. Through years of experience, the authors found that consequences for misbehavior were necessary but not sufficient for changing chronic misbehavior.Meaningful Work creates a sense of purpose and provides an opportunity for a student to experience success.

Meaningful Work focuses on changing student behavior in the school environment. This positive behavior support helps students with a history of misbehavior and school failure become contributing members of their schools.

This book will guide you through:

  • Developing a vision for how this positive behavior support will look in your school.
  • Starting small with one or two students. Learn how to select students and jobs, collect data, design a contract, teach job skills, and reinforce and correct the student.
  • Going schoolwide with your jobs program. Learn how to promote staff buy-in, recruit supervisors, select students, match students to jobs, train supervisors, and teach students how to be successful in a job.
  • Networking with your community.

The number of job options in a school is limitless. Meaningful Work's Jobs Index provides a source of inspiration, including close to 100 jobs (with suggested duties, schedule, supervisor, student skills, and grade level), from Eraser Cleaner (grade K and up) to Playground Assistant (grades 4–6).


For Grades:
Publication Date:
  176 pp. and 1 CD (reproducible materials, including job postings, application forms, staff handouts, and more)
Product ID:
  BJ Wise, Kim Marcum, Mike Harkin, Randy Sprick, and Marilyn Sprick
Price: $45.00

Randy Sprick, Ph.D.

Dr. Randy Sprick


Randy Sprick is an educational consultant and trainer in Eugene, Oregon. Each year, he presents practical and entertaining workshops to over 30,000 teachers and administrators throughout the United States and Canada.

Much of his work involves helping teachers, principals, and other staff set up schools and classrooms that encourage student responsibility and motivation, while humanely and effectively helping misbehaving students learn to behave in more responsible ways.

As the primary author for the Safe & Civil Schools series, Randy has produced numerous articles, books, audiotapes, and videotapes that assist school personnel in dealing with the issues of discipline and classroom management. His most recent publications include Teacher's Encyclopedia of Behavior Management, 2nd ed. (2012) and Coaching Classroom Management, 2nd ed. (2010).

He is a past president of the Association for Direct Instruction. In 2007, the Council for Exceptional Children honored Randy with the J.E. Wallace Wallin Lifetime Achievement Award in recognition of his work developing, advocating, and proliferating Positive Behavior Support in schools.

Randy is the director of Teaching Strategies, Inc. and the lead consultant for Safe & Civil Schools.

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Mike Haykin, M.Ed.

Mike Haykin


Mike Haykin received a B.A. from Central Washington University and an M.Ed. from the University of Washington. He has been the director of the Learning Support Department at Seattle Academy for the past 13 years. He has also worked in schools serving students from Pre-K through graduate school as a teacher, counselor, and learning specialist. Mike has worked with hospitals and social service institutions as a consultant and has served as a board member for two nonprofit schools specializing in serving students with a need for intensive individualized and multidisciplinary support.

Mike continues to provide consultation services to schools and hospitals serving students with learning, emotional and behavioral challenges.


Kim Marcum, M.Ed.

Kim Marcum


Kim Marcum was an elementary principal for 15 years in the state of Washington. Prior to that, she taught both elementary and secondary students with behavioral disabilities, first as a special education teacher and later as a learning specialist.

Kim is a widely respected educational leader with a passion for orchestrating success in even the most challenging of students. In 2000, she received the Regional Distinguished Principal of the Year award, presented by the Association of Washington School Principals.

Her workshops in the areas of behavior management, study skills, and reading research are highly regarded throughout the country.

She has also authored and coauthored a number of publications, most notably Project ACCESS, a study skills program designed for at-risk students.


Marilyn Sprick, M.S.

Marilyn Sprick


Marilyn Sprick is the lead author of Read Well K–2, Read Well Spelling and Writing Conventions 1 and 2, and Read Well Composition 1. With more than 35 years in education, Marilyn has been a general education teacher, special education teacher, and Title I learning specialist.

As an educational consultant, Marilyn has provided training in literacy, curriculum adaptation, and collaborative instruction for thousands of teachers throughout the United States and Canada. Marilyn’s focus is on scaffolding and differentiating curriculum, explicit instruction, motivating students, and diagnostic prescriptive teaching. She is well respected for her ability to inspire teachers and translate research into classroom practice.

Marilyn is also author of “Intervention B: Academic Assistance” in Interventions: Evidence-Based Behavioral Strategies for Individual Students and a coauthor of Meaningful Work, Tough Kid: On-Task in a Box, and SMART Kids: Social Grace, Manners, and Respectful Talk. Marilyn is president of Pacific Northwest Publishing, a small, elite publishing house that focuses on highly effective, research-based resources for educators.

Read Well K-2 Training. Marilyn Sprick and a group of highly qualified trainers provide expert professional development in the K–2 Read Well programs. For additional information, training tips and hints, visit the Read Well Teach Well website.

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B.J. Wise, M.Ed.

B.J. Wise


B.J. Wise served as northwest regional director for Sopris West Educational Services, and before that, she was assistant superintendent for special populations for the state of Washington.

B.J. began her career in education as a special education teacher. Since then, she has been a teacher at the elementary, junior high, and senior high school levels and a principal at the elementary level. She has consulted on educational issues throughout the United States and Europe.

She was honored as a National Distinguished Principal and has received the Washington State Award for Excellence in Education.


Meaningful Work has made dramatic changes in the behaviors of our most challenging students. In the beginning, we didn't understand the power of jobs and adult mentors for our troubled students. Feeling valued and able to make a difference in their school, many of our students have completely turned their behaviors around. We have become true believers in the power of Meaningful Work.

—Sandra Horst,
Principal, Central Kitsap School District,
Bremerton, WA