Did you know that having classroom jobs not only builds capacity, but that it also helps students learn important life skills and responsibilities? Giving them those jobs helps your classroom almost run itself. Sound too good to be true? It’s not!
Classroom jobs take the responsibility off of YOU and instead directs those important must do tasks to students. We’re talking sharpening pencils, running notes, and monitoring energy- all those things that help your classroom run smoothly. Turns out if there’s a task to complete, students most likely can, and WANT to be, in charge.
I’m going to teach you how to take a step back from doing ALL those things that can oftentimes become overwhelming. Instead, get students excited to complete those tasks and help your classroom almost run itself!
Great Classroom Jobs
There are SO many great jobs that teach important life skills that students love to do. To come up with jobs to have in the classroom, I think about ALL the questions I get asked from students that either they can solve by themselves, or a friend can help them solve. Think about what you get asked most…
Can I sharpen my pencil?
Can you help with my Ipad/computer/etc?
Can I have a new glue stick?
These are tasks that students CAN and WANT to be in charge of. They are all chores that take up time and brain power from us that we can let go of. Some of my favorite class jobs to have are:
Energy Monitor – helps to make sure devices are charged; helps make sure lights are off and energy is not wasted
Materials Manager – can support students who need materials for a project, table groups, and if supplies get broken or lost
Tech Support – this is a great supporting role for ALL those tech issues students may face while working. Don’t waste your valuable instructional time! You know you have techy students who can manage ALL those little issues.
Teacher Assistant – think of this role as your go to kiddo for ALL the things you may need. Maybe you forgot to do something. Maybe you need someone to support a substitute. This is your student for those responsibilities!
Greeter – a most favorite duty for students. This job allows them to stand at the door each morning and greet their friends. They LOVE it and most kids beg to have this job.
Classroom Ambassador – get a new student in the middle of the year? Have a visitor who wants to explore your classroom and see your students working? Have this student be responsible for supporting visitors and showing new kiddos ALL the ropes.
Secretary – have a note that needs to be delivered or a classroom phone that needs to be answered? Teach this student how to answer the phone and alleviate some of that stress. Check out this editable phone script FREEBIE! Grab it by subscribing below!
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Check out ALL my go to classroom jobs to help students feel ownership over their classroom while practicing important life skills and responsibilities.
Have Them Apply
Just like we apply for our jobs, have students go through an application process too! Explain different classroom jobs to students and have them think about which they are best suited for.
I usually spend the first few weeks with students, teaching them all about the different classroom responsibilities. This is a great time to get to know students and learn their best qualities to determine what job might best fit them and their personalities.
After students have had time to learn about all the different classroom responsibilities, it’s time to apply! Check out these differentiated sheets to help them determine what they will love AND what they are good at. Having them list what other jobs they may be good at is a great way to figure out multiple jobs for each student since you have the ultimate decision. The more jobs, the better because after all, there can’t be 12 line leaders in the classroom. This also saves you from having to switch jobs frequently!
Let’s talk about job management for a minute. Now that you’ve shared about jobs and hopefully chosen students for each one, it’s time for some intensive job training. This part is important and does take some time so prepare yourself. It is a huge part of having your classroom almost run itself.
Take ample time to explicitly teach and model expectations for each job. Do it slowly and intentionally to do it right… or you’ll be doing it all year long. Think about being new on a job- all the things you need to learn to do, and how hard it is to do a good job if you weren’t trained properly. Well now apply that thinking when you have 25+ new jobs and students to learn their responsibilities. It will take some time to get them setup and going, but once you do, it’s MAGIC. You’ve just taken a TON of responsibilities off of your plate!
Check out this post HERE for how I like to teach expectations, procedures, and routines. It goes deep into best practices for being very explicit during training of all those newly acquired classroom jobs. To ensure everyone knows their jobs, you can make your jobs display into a bulletin board! I love using student numbers or pictures to show who has what job.
Another part of job management is the frequency of changing jobs. Now I don’t know about you, but changing jobs weekly for me was too much. And let’s be honest, how well can a student learn a responsibility if they are changing so often? You want to find your own sweet spot with your kiddos to give them opportunities to learn about, and practice, different responsibilities in the classroom. I would recommend changing jobs monthly or even quarterly. Find what works for you and watch your classroom thrive!
Step Back and Let Go
The most important thing at the end of the day is to let go and let students take responsibility of THEIR classroom. We already have enough on our plates without having to manage all those other little tasks students can and WANT to be in charge of. Learn more tips and tricks for facilitating student ownership in the classroom. When you do, it truly is a beautiful thing for your classroom management, culture, and community.
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Growing Classroom Management Bundle
I hope you enjoyed learning about the importance of classroom jobs. These are CRUCIAL life skills for students! Let’s help students not only be successful, but have FUN doing it! Don’t forget to subscribe to my email list! Not only will you get the most up to date tips, tricks, and classroom projects… and of course more fun FREEBIES including Classroom Script FREEBIE! You will also have exclusive access to tons of digital how-to videos! If you would like to learn about this and other things happening in my classroom follow me @sweetnsauerfirsties on Instagram.
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