Bright Idea: Making the Most of Classroom Jobs

My goal as a teacher is to be there as a facilitator of learning, while my students basically take care of everything else.  Don't get me wrong.  I am in charge in my room, but I want my students to be independent enough to keep the classroom running like a well oiled machine. (a dictatorship disguised as a democracy ;) )  One way I do that is by having classroom jobs that truly are a reflection of classroom needs.

At the beginning of the year, I sit down and think about all of the jobs that I, as the teacher, simply do not want to do or will just forget to do.  Those are the things that I make sure my students are responsible for!  By putting the kids in charge of these tasks it 1) insures they will get done (since my baby-fried brain just can't remember things anymore!), 2) frees me up to just teach and 3) allows the kids the opportunity to learn some responsibility.

The jobs in my classroom last one month.  Students apply for them at the end of the previous month, that way I know they actually want to do the job, and therefore will take the responsibility and run with it.  I also like keeping them for a month, as it is long enough for the kids to get good at it, but not too long that they get bored of the job.
I made this on Vista Print and each student has a postcard of it.  However, I used to just write the sentence frames on the board before I discovered my love of VP ;)
Here are a few jobs that I have in my room that help to keep things running smoothly and more efficiently:

Justice -- I simply can not be in two places at once, so the Justices are my eyes and ears on the playground.  They let me know how things are going, both good and bad.  They write their notes in the Justice Journal that only I am allowed to look at.  It just helps me to keep up with what is going on on the yard, without having to monitor every second of it myself.  This takes a bit of training so that it doesn't become a tattle tale position (and so that the students don't see it as such.)
The students carry this journal outside (I had it made on Vista Print, but you could totally just staple papers together if you wanted)  They write down the good, the bad, and the ugly in here.

Banker -- I run a classroom economy.  If it weren't for my two bankers, I would NEVER be able to handle the money and my kids would never get paid.  They remember to hand out the dollars when kids first come in, and are in charge of making sure students get money for doing their homework.  They really make the economy work, which makes my management SO much easier.

Table Captains --  They check the homework.  Without them, I would be spending SO much of my time doing this task that they really become a lifeline to me.   Plain and simple, they are very much needed in my room.
The table captains are in charge of checking in homework each day.
Custodians --  I am NOT a neat person.  I like things neat, but I simply can't clean myself.  Maybe I am allergic? (probably just lazy.)  BUT the students LOVE to clean. So the custodians get to wipe down the whiteboard, clear the Calendar Math board, sweep up the room (with the broom, all other students have to pick up trash with their hands) and vacuum the rug.  They love it, and I get a clean room out of it.
See how clean it is??  That is in no small part due to the Custodians (sorry, I have no pictures of students cleaning.  I guess I don't take pics of everything!  ;) )

Other jobs that I have:

President and Vice President -- classroom monitors and runners.
Controllers -- keep the lines on the yard and when we are walking straight and quiet
Distributors -- pass out homework and other papers
Property Manager -- lights on and off, last one out of the room and shuts the door.
Equipment Manager -- ball monitor....this is the ONLY person allowed to take the ball in and out.
Librarians -- makes sure my beautiful library stays organized
Merchants -- run the store.  This frees me up to pull small groups during that time.
Substitutes -- they fill in when someone is absent.  Can't not have a payday simply because the banker is out of town!

So there you have it.  The classroom jobs really are my way of allowing more time for me to teach and keeping all of the "housekeeping" chores to a minimum.  The students feel a sense of pride in the room, as if they are running things, and I like that as well.  How do you utilize classroom jobs?


  1. Thanks for sharing, Stephanie! I am always looking for new ways to do jobs in my classroom, especially now that I have older kids. I think that they would love this! The part about applying for jobs is my favorite!

    Sara :)
    The Colorful Apple

    1. You know what? That is my favorite too :) It just makes things seem o official!

  2. well I hopped to the right spot... I LOVE your jobs and the bankers... I never thought of that and the application... my brain juices are flowing!!! thanks for such a BRIGHT IDEA

    1. Thank you! The Bankers are my sanity when it comes to the Classroom Economy. I simply could not do it without them.

  3. OhMyGolly! I love this! I adore the idea of the Justice Journal.Amazing that you can teach vocabulary through classroom jobs!
    I am printing this to re-read later (I know, Old School, but it's the only way that I can remember!)
    Great post... and wonderfully bright ideas...

    Finding JOY in 6th Grade

  4. What a great idea! All though this is my 5th year of teaching, I have never had jobs! Maybe this is something that I need to think about doing! Your entry makes a great point for that! What a wonderful blog you have!

  5. What are the black boxes on the desk!?

  6. Wonderful ideas! Thanks for sharing! Can you explain what H/W/P means on your homework checklist?

  7. Hi! I am just looking for a bit of clarification. Does the banker hand out money daily? Or only on Fridays? You also mentioned a pay check. Do you use cheques?

    I want to implement this for my grade 6 classroom.

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  9. Do you have the postcards that you give out? Do you have a TPT site?


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