As you plan for the new school year, consider setting up a system of classroom jobs for students. The benefits are plentiful. By taking on specific responsibilities for their classroom, students practice new skills in communication and leadership. They also develop a strong sense of co-responsibility for their learning community and they usually improve their attendance.
A List of Possible Classroom Jobs:
- Cues the audio on the CD player.
- Sets up the Overhead or LCD Projector.
- Starts up the computers when needed.
- Hands out papers, cards, pens, pencils, and other learning materials as needed.
- Collects the materials at the end of an activity.
- Writes the date on the board
- Copies school announcements on the board.
- Erases the board when asked.
- Takes roll-call every class.
- Delivers the attendance list to the proper mailbox.
Two or three students welcome new students to the class and bring them up to speed on class routines and expectations. This is an ongoing job throughout the term.
Everyone can be paired with a classmate to be study buddies. Study buddies:
- communicate homework assignments when one buddy is absent.
- compare their homework assignments when completed.
- work together to organize their papers or notebooks.
- review (and complete) class notes together.
How many jobs do I assign? I introduce one job a week so the class has some time to understand what each job entails. I limit the total to three or four jobs so it is not too confusing who is responsible for what.
How often do students rotate? Since my classes meet twice a week throughout the school year, I rotate the jobs on a monthly basis so students get enough time to learn their jobs well and experience a couple of skill sets.
How do I train them? As I introduce the job, I tell the whole class about the job, explaining its duties and supplying a list of phrases and questions useful in performing the job. Then as students rotate, they train one another in the job duties.
Do students volunteer or get assigned? The most timid students get first dibs on which job they prefer, but in the end everyone holds a job.