Teaching is exhausting (in a good way)! I remember being especially exhausted during my first year. When the bell rang at the end of the day, I ran around the room like a crazy person just getting the room back in order for at least 30 minutes. After that, I would finally start to prep for the next day. I knew I couldn’t do this forever. It took me such a long time to do a million minor things that needed to be done for my sanity (ex: wipe down desks, make sure jackets and left items were picked up, sharpen pencils, put morning work on the desk, etc.).
I decided to implement classroom jobs, but really MEANINGFUL classroom jobs. I had seen classrooms with jobs that weren’t always necessary (i.e. line leader in fourth grade), or jobs that weren’t done correctly and then the teacher would have to fix afterwards. I decided that every student would have a job that really needed to be done. Not lame ones to make everyone feel included, but important jobs that help the classroom run smoothly and stay organized. I spent the remainder of the year still running around like a crazy person, but slowly creating a meaningful classroom job list for the next year.
Every year since, I have implemented the classroom jobs at the beginning of the year. I’ve done it two different ways. The first way, I tried having the student keep the same job for the week and then switch (so that every student had every job at least once). The second way (my preferred way) is that each student gets a job and KEEPS THAT JOB the ENTIRE year. This way the students really know exactly how I want that job done, and they NEVER forget. It becomes a habit and routine and it works great!
List and descriptions of my classroom jobs:
- table cleaners (2-3 students)
- make sure nothing extra is left on top of the desks/tables.
- spray the tables with cleaning spray and wipe down with paper towels.
- pencil sharpeners (2 students)
- sharpen each table’s pencils so they are ready for the next day (I don’t let students sharpen pencils during the day)
- floor inspectors (2 students)
- inspect the floor and clean up as needed
- return items to owners (ex: jackets)
- return items to correct place (ex: book in the class library)
- library inspectors (2 students)
- make sure the classroom library looks neat and books are put away correctly
- phone monitor (1 student)
- answers the phone during the day when I am busy
- always say, “Mrs. B’s classroom. This is ___ speaking. How can I help you?”
- morning work distributer (1 person)
- passes out the morning work for the following day (this makes me stay on top of it!)
- mailbox filers (2 people)
- each student has a mailbox where important fliers/classwork/papers to go home are filed (students take everything home in a Friday Folder)
- mailbox filers file all the papers (waiting in a bin) in the correct student mailbox
- calendar (1 person)
- changes the calendar so the correct date is ready for tomorrow
- substitute (1 person)
- choose one of your most responsible students because they have to learn every job
- they do the job of anyone that is absent (sometimes they are doing multiple jobs, sometimes they have a “day off”)
- lunch count (1 person)
- fill in the choices for the next day on our lunch count board
- messenger (1 person)
- takes all necessary notes/papers to the correct room when needed
- technology helper (1 person)
- turns off computers, makes sure all technology is left how you want it at the end of the day
- desk inspectors (2 people)
- inspects the desks and notifies students who need to tidy up
- clip chart (1 person)
- returns everyone’s clip back to “ready to learn”for the next day
- writing center (1 person)
- makes sure there are enough supplies for the next day (papers, post its, etc,)
- refills supplies when needed
- teacher’s pencils (1 person)
- sharpens my pencils for the next day
- center organizer (2 people)
- organizes supplies for different centers or activities (ex: math games)
- white board (1 person)
- erases the white board for the next day
- teacher’s desk (1 person)
- tidies up the teacher’s desk (I always have another really responsible student for this one who knows exactly how I like my desk to look/where things go)
- school library helper (1 person)
- returns all the books in our library bin to the school library in the morning
- brings slip back with list of students who forgot their books
- checks in with those students to see if they have it
- duster (2 people)
- dusts and wipes down other parts of the classroom (ex: shelves, bookcases, etc)
These classroom jobs are for a class with 29-30 students. If you have more or less, you can adjust accordingly.
While some of the jobs happen during the day (Ex: phone monitor, library helper), the majority of the class does their job at the end of the day. I train my students to do their job immediately after packing up at the end of the day. I give them 5 minutes to fill in their homework, pack up their backpack, and then do their job. It really does not take much time away from learning, and it makes the classroom run so smoothly!
Hope these classroom jobs help!