During my first year of teaching, I had about 12 or 14 class jobs and I changed them each day. I did a great job with that until I started forgetting! I guess that my rationale for having so many jobs and changing them each day was that I wanted to give all of the students a sense of responsibility and ownership in the classroom. However, among all of the things that I had to do in a typical school day, changing the multitude of class jobs on a daily basis always seemed to slip my mind. So I thought back to my days of student teaching and implemented a more simple way of doing classroom jobs.
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This system simplified classroom jobs for me and made my life in the classroom a lot easier! You might have a similar setup in your classroom. My mentor teacher during student teaching used a similar setup, so that is where I got this idea. All credit goes to her, however, I think some of the jobs that she implemented were similar to Kagan, but I’m not 100% sure.
First, I reduced the number of classroom jobs that I had. I have 5 permanent classroom jobs, one “9 weeks job”, and one job that changes each day. To adapt this for your classroom, think about the jobs that really need to be done on a daily basis. Don’t feel obligated to give every student a job every day. It’s okay if they have to wait their turn for a few days or a week at a time. Another way to approach classroom jobs is to think about those small tasks in your classroom that you don’t feel like doing every day and can easily be done by your students. No, I’m not advocating “teacher laziness” but your students will be more than willing to help their teacher out, and they’ll be learning responsibility at the same time.
The permanent classroom jobs are given to students at the beginning of the year. I typically choose the students who do these jobs based on their abilities or talents. For example, a student that is very organized will likely be given the job of class librarian. My permanent classroom jobs were: class librarian, chair stackers (I chose about 4 students), calendar person, computer helper, and trash collector.
The “9 weeks jobs” are jobs given every new nine week period. The school year is broken into 4, nine week periods, so the students who do the jobs changed when we went into a new nine week period. The only “9 weeks job” that I have is the go-getter. I typically chose 4 or 5 students to be go-getters for the various table groups in the classroom.. Any time papers, privacy folders, manipulatives, and more needed to be passed out or picked up, I called my go-getters to do it.
There is only one job that changes on a daily basis which is the class helper. The class helper does many things on their special day. They bring the attendance and lunch count to the office. They run errands to the office if needed. They are the line leader. They get to choose the GoNoodle brain breaks for the day, and the list goes on. My students pretty much knew that anything that needed to be done would be handled by the helper. I printed all of my students’ names in alphabetical order on cardstock, laminated them, and put them on a ring. Each day, I just flipped to the next name. It’s not 100% cutesy, but it’s effective!
Because of this system, my students no longer asked “when can I do a job?” Everyone got the chance to be the helper once every 21 days (this number depends on how many students are in your class). I only had to change one job per day. Remember that I told you at the beginning of this blog post that I was changing out 12 or so jobs per day. Even on days that I forgot to flip a student’s name over (and yes, I still forgot with just one job), I could easily make the correction without losing class time or having the students get mad that I forgot to switch the jobs again. Yes, they got mad at me on several occasions when I forgot!!!
Grab these easy-to-use classroom jobs posters!
How do you manage classroom jobs? Share your thoughts in the comments below.
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