Your day started with guided reading groups where the students did reader’s theater. Props and desks ended up all around the room. Then, there was a quick transition to math where the students played measurement football. All the desks were pushed to the side and chairs were knocked over as the students lined up on the sidelines of the “field.” An intense game of football was played where students threw the Nerf football in hopes of making a field goal. The students were so into the game that they played up until the last few seconds before they had to rush to specialities, followed by lunch. Coming in from lunch, the students pushed their desks back into messy rows and writing began. Soon they were interrupted by dance practice. They left out their writer’s notebooks and hurried to practice. Then it was time for social studies. They colored, cut, and glued as they created their state reports. Scraps of paper ended up on the floor, crayons rolled off the desks, and glue made every surface sticky. As the day came to an end, you looked around your room. The first thing that went through your mind was, “Oh no, it looks like a tornado struck the room… It’s going to take forever to clean and I still need to pass out the permission slips and homework packets!” You began to panic. What were you going to do?
You started to open your mouth to give a bunch of directions to clean up the pigsty of a room when you paused and noticed what was happening. The paper passers were on top of handing out the permission slips and homework packets. The floor monitors had picked up every last scrap off the floor. Table monitors were rinsing out the sponges, the pencil monitor was busy at the sharpener, the bookshelves had been straightened by the librarian, and the whiteboard was shiny and white again. The students had done it all without even being asked!
Importance of Classroom Jobs
By the end of the day you are tired and the last thing you want to do is clean up the big mess the students made that day. With a system put in place, students take on the responsibility of keeping the classroom nice and tidy. Classroom jobs can save your life as a teacher, as well as help students feel important, gives them a sense of accomplishment, take responsibility, and be involved in making the classroom a place of learning.
There are three key parts to this system:
1. Make sure the students know why each job is meaningful.
2. Rotate jobs often.
3. Reinforce their work and success.
Classroom Jobs Ideas:
Pencil Sharpener – sharpens the dull pencil basket
Paper Passer – passes out all papers during class
Door Holder – closes classroom door and holds other doors for class
Librarian – straightens/organizes classroom library
Energy Expert – turns off the light when your class leaves the room
Line Leader – leads the line and sets the example
Floor Monitors – cleans up trash and other things off the floor
Desk Police – makes sure desks are cleaned up
Board Eraser – erases any dry erase boards
Materials Managers – organizes, collects and distributes manipulatives and materials