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  • Writer's pictureSaresha Zentner

Classroom Jobs - How to Empower Students & Delegate Responsibilities

Classroom jobs totally save my sanity! Not just because they give students leadership, but because I create jobs that actually help my classroom run smoother.

When I first started teaching I implemented classroom jobs, but the jobs were not particularly important and didn't help me out. It became more of a hassle to remember who had what job and what the role was.

Since then, I have done these things to make jobs more empowering and helpful in my classroom:

1. Thought about what I needed help with. This sounds so simple, but taking time to reflect on little jobs that made my day more stressful.

  • It was stressful for me to hear the phone ring during my lesson or during small group time. So, I have one job that is "Secretary". This person gets up to answer the phone and reads the script that I have by the phone. They write down a message or will get me if necessary.

  • Another thing that added stress to my busy morning was counting my students' lunch sticks in order to put the lunch order in to the office. I created a job that is called "Lunch Helper". This student counts the number of students who have hot lunch, second choice, and cold lunch. Then, he or she writes down the numbers for me to email to the office. We all know mornings are busy enough, and this has made them a little bit easier. At the end of the day, this student is also responsible for setting the lunch sticks back out for the next day.

  • The job, "Board Eraser" is as simple as it sounds, but is very helpful. Why should we spend extra time after school erasing the white board when students are eager to do it and help out?

  • I also created the job "Schedule Assistant" last year and loved it. This one took students a little more time to get the hang of, but a few months into the year it was seamless. At the end of the day this student changes around our schedule cards to reflect the schedule of the next day. They change out the day and the specials we have. I sometimes will have to tweak it due to unexpected schedule changes, but that is simple once they have changed most of it. You can find these schedule cards here.

2. The second thing that I did to transform my classroom job system was to create jobs that give students a sense of leadership. I want students to feel important and empowered in my classroom while having these responsibilities.

  • One empowering job that I love is "Computer Expert". This student helps other students with technology-related questions while I am helping individual students or with a small group. This student must be good with technology and helpful.

  • I am going to implement a new job this year - "Party Planners". This one would only be needed on the months when you have a classroom party. These students are responsible for coming up with activities for the classroom parties.

  • Another job that empowers students is "Current Events Helpers". These students are responsible for picking our Current Event article of the week - usually from Newsela. They write one discussion question and then lead the class discussion later on in the week.

  • We all know that we have other teachers, staff, and students come to our classroom doors throughout the week. I have a student whose job is to greet these visitors. They welcome them to our classroom and ask if they need to speak with a certain student or the teacher or if there's anything else they need.

  • The last leadership job I am using this year is "Conflict Resolution". If/When there are conflicts within the classroom or at recess that affect a large majority of the class, this group of students would be dedicated to finding solutions to these problems that meet the needs of all involved.

3. The last thing I did was create a display to showcase our classroom jobs. With the display, it is easy for me to see who is doing each job. It is also easy to switch jobs (we do this monthly).

Watch the video to see how easy it is to set up a job display in your classroom!

I use Velcro Stickers to make it as easy as possible to switch out student names each month.

I do not have students fill out job applications. I want this process to be as easy as possible, and the way it is, we spend 10-15 minutes the first day of each month switching jobs.

The first few months, I go through the job slideshow I created to explain how jobs work in our classroom. Then, I have students think of 3-4 jobs they would like to have. Then, I draw sticks and have students pick in that order.

How do you give students responsibility in your classroom? I'd love to hear about it in the comments.

You can check out my classroom job resources through the links below:

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