After teaching for more than a decade, I have changed the way I have used classroom jobs many times. I don’t think I even used classroom jobs my first year since I had too many other things to worry about. But, starting my second year (and for several years after), I knew I wanted my students to take some responsibility and help out in the classroom. I started peeking in other classrooms (with permission, of course), and taking note of the types of jobs other teachers were using in their classrooms. Soon after, this job board was created:
It’s hard to see, but here are the jobs I used:
Shelf & Counter Inspector
Here’s a student putting papers in the mailboxes for the class. I leave stacks on the top and students put them away throughout the day.
Some of these jobs had more than one student needed. All of the pockets on the right-hand column were for substitutes. Substitutes would fill in for any absent student in their same row. Each week I would rotate the popsicle sticks one place. Any job that required two students meant one student would continue that job for a second week. With so many substitute roles, it gave students a break from doing jobs about once a month.
After a few years I tried something new – allowing students to choose their own jobs. I placed all of the popsicle sticks into my container and would draw them randomly. Since jobs were tied to earning classroom money, certain jobs were in high demand!
Even after laminating, the job boards would only last about a year before the library pockets started ripping in the corners. I started thinking of a new system for display and came up with the one I have used for the past three years:
Here are the jobs I now use:
Each student’s name is written on a card (super fancy, you know) and there’s a magnet on the back which makes them easy to move around. Some of these jobs require two students. At the beginning of the year I randomly assign jobs with no rhyme or reason. After that, students are rotated alphabetically. Since there are only 12 jobs, there are plenty of students on break who can help out with anything that comes up (or if someone is slacking and can’t handle their responsibilities).
With every new class and passing year, I enjoy trying new things. I’ve thought about just having two helpers a day to do ALL of the jobs. Maybe I’ll give that a try next year! How do you tackle classroom jobs?