Classroom jobs are a great way to build classroom community and teach responsibility in the classroom.
The classroom is not just your space, but also your students' space. Giving them some responsibility in maintaining that space and contributing to the classroom as a whole can lead to better overall classroom management.
How I Assign Jobs
There are two reasons to do jobs in your classroom. One is for classroom management and the other is to reduce your workload.
Why I like jobs so much is because even though I started them to reduce my workload, better classroom management came along for the ride.
So to keep with the "reduce workload" theme, I don't want to add more work to my plate administering classroom jobs.
So I work really hard to get jobs to be on autopilot.
At the start of the month, I pass around the monthly job list.
Once this list has been compiled, my only responsibility each month is to print off a list for each class and to pass it around on the first Monday of the month.
Students then sign up for a job they want on a first-come-first-serve basis.
I always start the paper in a different part of the room each month so the same kids aren't always getting the list before others.
On the front of the list is the name of the job, the "monthly salary," and enough blanks for the number of students needed for that job.
After everyone has had a chance to sign up for a job, if there are still jobs left, students are allowed to take on a second job.
That usually fills the list, but if not, I'll then randomly assign any open jobs.
I tell students it's better to pick a job you like rather than be assigned one you don't.
Students Get Paid!
At the end of the month, students are "paid" for their work a monthly "salary" in participation points that can be used to purchase class prizes and privileges.
The salaries differ based on the popularity of the job. The more popular jobs have lower salaries and the less popular jobs have higher salaries. This is to ensure I have the less-desired jobs filled each month.
I used to dread this part of the month as I would have to make enough copies of my participation points, cut them out, and count them out for every student. It took a long time as I used approximately 300 points per class times 6 classes.
But then I had the ingenious idea to create a job called payroll.
This student was responsible for counting all of the points from the hundreds I had copied and cut which saved me a ton of time.
I've streamlined this process even more after having switched to digital points.
So now my payroll person has to do is to go into my ClassDojo and assign the points to each student. Much quicker and much more efficient.
And my students like getting paid because they are able to purchase things like candy, drop-a-quiz passes, preferential seating, etc.
There are tons of job lists out there on the internet. What works for me in my classroom, may not work for you in yours. I encourage you to search the internet to find multiple job lists and compile a list of your own.
You may find that after the first month, some jobs just don't work out and others you discover you need. Make adjustments as needed.
When I started, I "stole" job ideas from everyone I knew and discovered that many of them just didn't work for my classroom.
And then as I went about my day, I realized jobs that I didn't have on my list that would be extremely helpful. Some of them worked and others did not. You don't know until you try.
To figure out what might be a good job for your classroom try to think of things that need to be done and don't require a college degree.
Think of things that take your time, but could be done by a student.
Here are some of the jobs I use in my classroom. This is not an exhaustive list!!
- library manager - keeps class library organized
- greeter - greets any guests that enter the room
- lights/door manager - controls lights and opens door
- teacher's assistant - makes copies/in charge of sub plans
- errand runner - runs any errands
- chair managers - makes sure all chairs are organized after class.
- floor managers - picks up any trash off the floor
- absence manager - takes any notes and keeps handouts for absent students
- points manager - keeps track of class points
- paper manager - collects and passes out papers
- clipboard manager - responsible for distribution and collection of classroom clipboards
- payroll clerk - responsible for paying salaries at the end of the month
Immediate Immersion LIVE! Episode
I did a whole Immediate Immersion LIVE! episode on classroom jobs. If you'd like to watch it you can access it on YouTube here: https://imim.us/jobs-live
Let me know if you use jobs in your classroom in the comments below. How are they working for you? What jobs do you have? I'd love it if we compiled a list in the comments!
And if you want to download my FREE, handy dandy Classroom Jobs Guide, click the big orange button below!