What is the most common word for a student with special duties who helps the teacher?

As I googled it, I found a number of suggestions including monitor, prefect and factotum. But which one is the most commonly used term in American and English schools?

Update: In an American movie set in an elementary school, one of the students introduces herself to a new teacher, beginning with the words "as the class factotum, I'd like to say 'welcome to our school'." Is "factotum" a common word for a student representative of his/her class?

3 Answers 3


Can’t speak for America, but “prefect” is definitely the most commonly understood term here in the UK.

  • Thanks. I think the word "prefect" refers to an older student who is given some authority and helps to control the younger students. But what about a class representative who's the same age as others?
    – BeatsMe
    Commented Feb 4, 2018 at 8:10
  • Possibly 'assistant'. I'd probably say 'aide'. The Oxford dictionary defines it as a person who helps another person, especially a politician, in their job. Prefects, IMO, help more to control/disciple students. An aide suggests they help a teacher teach. Commented Feb 4, 2018 at 10:56
  • Monitor is pretty common as well, particularly in primary schools. Lots of classes have a pencil monitor or a homework monitor. However I think the OP may be thinking of a designation common in his or her own country which does not really exist in British and American schools. The nearest equivalent I can think of is the old fashioned pupil teacher, but these were slightly older children (about 12-15 when most children went to work at 13) who intended to become qualified teachers.
    – BoldBen
    Commented Feb 4, 2018 at 12:22

teaching assistant of various types here in the states wikipedia

A teaching assistant or teacher's aide (TA) or education assistant (EA) is an individual who assists a teacher with instructional responsibilities.

  • 1
    Teaching assistant or aide wouldn't apply to a member of the class with additional responsibilities.
    – user888379
    Commented Mar 9, 2018 at 21:22
  • 1
    @user888379 While a Teaching Assistant (TA) would most likely not be taking the same class they are assisting, they are usually a student at the same institution. Commented Mar 9, 2018 at 21:52

Class President

I know here in the states we have a student council.

A class president is usually the leader of a student body class and presides over its class cabinet or organization within a student council.

Reference: Wikipedia

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