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A Job Description of a School Cafeteria Monitor

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Adult supervision is needed for students having lunch in elementary, middle and high school cafeterias. Teacher and administrators typically take their lunch breaks at the same time as the children so are not available to provide supervision. School cafeteria monitors are employed by the schools to supervise and help the children during lunch breaks and recess.

Provide Assistance to Children

A cafeteria monitor circulates throughout the cafeteria during mealtime. They help the children by opening packages and milk cartons, cleaning up spills and providing additional assistance as needed. Cafeteria monitors also help the children go through the cafeteria line in an orderly fashion and proceed to their tables.

Monitor Students' Behavior

Cafeteria assistants monitor the behavior of the students and enforce school policies and procedures. Monitors must make sure the children are orderly and acting appropriately. They may have to stop children from fighting, bullying or displaying rude or obnoxious behavior. If negative behavior occurs, the cafeteria monitor typically directs a child to the principal or administrator for disciplinary action.

Clean Up

When the students are finished eating, they must dispose of their trash in proper receptacles. Cafeteria monitors make sure they have done a good job. After the students are finished eating and cleaning up, the monitors walk through the entire cafeteria to look for any leftover trash or spills. They are responsible for throwing away any trash the students have missed and cleaning up any spills. The monitor may also be responsible for putting all chairs in the proper place and sweeping the cafeteria floor.

Recess Monitor

In some schools, the cafeteria monitor may also be responsible for monitoring the children during recess as students must be supervised at all times. Monitors interact with the children on the playground to maintain order and provide assistance when it's needed. The monitor is also responsible for making sure the children exit and enter the school building in an orderly fashion.


Johanna Miller has been writing professionally since 2010. She has been published in various online publications. Miller holds an Associate of Business degree with a concentration in accounting from Stark State College.

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