Classroom jobs are a critical part of the classroom community. They teach students responsibility, independence and teamwork. Not all classroom jobs are created equal though! In this blog post I write some different ideas for classroom jobs and why they are important!
Ideas for Classroom Jobs that each responsibility
Classroom jobs are a great routine for the elementary classroom because they teach responsibility! Jobs like “Gardener” or “Pet Helper” allow students to be responsible for caring for the living things in your classroom. “Attendance Manager” or “Librarian” let students take responsibility for different parts of the day. For example, the Attendance Manager in my room checks on who hasn’t signed in that day and either reminds them to sign in or tells me they are absent. The librarian checks that the library is always put back with books in the places and in a neat and organized way.
Ideas for classroom Jobs that teach independence!
Independence is such a great benefit to classroom jobs – they teach students to do things for themselves, but they also give the class another student in the room they can go to for help if they need it! There are lots of jobs that can be set up this way, like the “lunch helper,” “snack helper,” “recess helper,” “computer expert,” “clean up helper” and “backpack helper”. Depending on what area your students need help with, these jobs can encourage them to ask a peer first. I use my lunch helper to help bring down the lunches to the cafeteria. You could also have the lunch helper and/or snack helper be around to help students with opening packages or finding extra utensils if needed.
The Class is a Community
Here are some ideas for classroom jobs that help teach the students that the classroom is a community. Everyone has a role to play to keep it running smoothly. I use several jobs to help keep the classroom going, put some responsibility on the classroom community, and take some responsibility off my shoulders! Jobs like “Trash Collector,” “Recycler,” “Table Washer,” “Sweeper,” “Chair Stacker,” “Eraser” “Supply Manager,” “Paper Passer,” and “Pencil Patrol” can all be used to help your classroom community.
Personally, in my room, I have a Table Washer help wipe down the tables after snack, and the Paper Passer help me pass out papers. If I had more students, maybe I would use the supply manager to help pass out supplies. As it is right now, I usually just call one student to help as I am dismissing students from the rug. You don’t need an official job title to make something a classroom job! Simply think about how you can include students in the routines and procedures around the room. You don’t have to be the one passing out every paper and crayon and pencil. You can have students take on this responsibility!
Ideas for Classroom Jobs in Morning Meeting
Morning Meeting is a big part of the day that I turn over to students as much as possible. I use jobs for “Greeter,” and “Calendar Captain” to start the greetings, help choose the greetings, and lead the calendar portion of the morning meeting. Other jobs I could use if I had more students would be “Meteorologist” to identify the weather for each day. I would also use a class “Ambassador” to greet any visitors to the classroom. It’s a great way to make everyone feel welcome in our class community.
Ideas for Classroom Jobs that students look forward to
Classroom jobs don’t just teach students responsibility and independence. They are also something that students look forward to each week or day, depending on how frequently you change the jobs. My students always look forward to being the “Teacher Assistant” where they help me with any odd jobs around the room, as well as the “Line Leader
– I think that’s an obvious one. I also get my students excited to be the “Caboose” … wondering how I do that? The Caboose is in charge of giving me a thumbs up once the line is ready to leave. I do not let the line go to recess or lunch or specials without that thumbs up from the Caboose. If their thumb is to the side or down, then I ask them what we need to do to be better.
Ideas for Classroom Job Routines
There are several ways you can organize your classroom job routine. You could have one job for each student in your classroom, just a few jobs, or only one job. If you have one job for each student, like I did, it makes sense to rotate through each week. I found that rotating each day was hard for me to remember who was what job. If there is a very short week because of a vacation, or snow days, I’ll leave the jobs for two weeks. If you only want a few jobs, you could put the rest of your students on a “vacation week” and change either daily or weekly. I definitely recommend having a substitute job on the list in case anyone is out.
A final way of doing classroom jobs involves having one student do all the jobs you want for the day. They could be the line leader, the paper passer, the snack helper, etc. If you do the special student idea, you should definitely switch out the job daily. For some teachers, this routine is much easier to manage. It’s how I do classroom jobs in summer school.
There are lots of ideas for classroom jobs that can help teach responsibility, independence, and include your students in the classroom community. No matter how you organize your classroom jobs, or which jobs you choose, the important idea is to start handing over some of the control and responsibility to your students. Students are perfectly capable of doing some of these jobs in the classroom. They learn a lot from classroom jobs, and they get excited to do them.