John Corlette's Advice to Prefects and Monitors
You must remember that, as a Prefect, you are not on your own, but that you derive your authority first from your Housemaster, and, as far as the school is concerned, from me and my Deputy. You can always rely on us for advice and support, providing you are sincere, and you should always feel that you can talk a point over with us – unofficially and "off the record if you prefer. Then, if action is required, we can decide between us what is best to be done.
In routine duties, in administering the law, and in maintaining the standards of the school, you should punish as little as possible. Yet your authority must be effective.
This means that you must establish it in other ways by making yourself respected for your integrity, your example, your judgement, and your sense of justice. Be friendly when you can, yet keep a certain distance from those over whom you have authority. Know when to turn a blind eye and when to wade in and be severe. Learn to give instructions clearly, concisely and audibly. Say what you mean and mean what you say, so that people can have confidence in you and, above all, never be afraid to admit you have made a mistake or to correct it if need be.
Finally, remember that you are not merely a policeman, but also a guide and friend, and responsible for the welfare of those over whom you rule, and consequently for the welfare and good name of the school.
I hope that you will ponder these few words of guidance, for I believe that they will help you.
There is a great deal of scope for initiative in the job. In fact, like all others, the job is what you make it, and your satisfaction and pleasure in it will come from that little extra you put in which is not strictly required. We get out of life exactly what we put in, no more, no less.