How To Manage and transform your classroom with class jobs

I’ve heard about class jobs for years, a decade even! I’ve always thought that teachers who use classroom jobs are probably WAYYYY more organized than me. I’ve always been sure that I couldn’t handle adding ONE MORE THING to my already overfull brain! Nothing more to manage please!

Well….

class jobs

Every month I hire a guest of the month for my PLC community La Familia Loca, and I try to hire people who are experts in things I don’t feel so experty on. You know, things that I can’t necessarily share with my community. This August, I hired the one and only John Sifert (Padre de 5); Inspiring Teacher, Phenomenal Daddy, Extraordinary Author, and EXPERT on class jobs!

John has been teaching for a REALLY long time and presents on Class jobs frequently.

His guest chat for La Familia was SO INSPIRING that I decided to forget all of my preconceived notions and implement some jobs for myself this year! OH MY GOSH!!! I AM SO GLAD I DID!!!

Classroom Jobs have transformed my classroom, and I’m forever grateful to John for sharing with us!

How To Introduce Classroom Jobs To Your Students

Before I begin, I want to acknowledge the question you may be already asking yourself, “Is it too late to introduce class jobs?”

No! That’s it, that’s the answer.

I started introducing jobs 11 weeks into school year, and I am STILL adjusting, adapting, changing, and reassigning jobs now, the first week in November! 

How did I start? I started by taking 30 minutes of class one day to introduce 25 different class jobs and describe them in English and in Spanish (using just the Spanish kiddos already knew). For the rest of class that day, students “applied for jobs” that they wanted.

How Students Apply For Class Jobs

Since I teach elementary now, the application was a very simple process. They wrote down the title of the job they wanted. Then, I had them either draw or write a sentence on why they thought they would be a good fit for the job. 

If I taught Middle or High, I would probably do it in a Google form instead, but I do think asking them to provide reasoning for WHY they wanted the job was empowering for them and SUPER helpful for me when I was making my decisions for each class. 

How To Assign Class Jobs

Now, while I would LOVE for every student to get their first choice, or even one of their top three choices, it was really hard to make happen. I knew in advance, which jobs would require students who were more proficient in Spanish, and which jobs would be best for students who struggle to focus, and which jobs would be best for my native speakers!

As I read their applications, I kept all of these thoughts in mind and had a spreadsheet open. The left side had the class job I was assigning, and each vertical column represented a class. From there, I plugged in names that I thought would be a good fit and highlighted them if the job didn’t align with one of the jobs they applied for. 

The reason for the highlight was so that I could remember during the job “assignments”, that I could take an extra minute to explain WHY I put them in a job different from the one they applied for. I wanted to take the time to explain why I thought they’d be a PERFECT fit for this “other job”.

I know that this sounds like so much TIME, but it was only ONE class to explain the jobs. Then, it was one class to assign the jobs and explain them, and about a week and a half to get into the good habit and routine of students DOING those jobs!

And now, Wow, I cannot begin to imagine my class without them!!!

Implementing Class Jobs

I took one class to implement the jobs. I set everyone to an individual Señor Wooly assignment while I called students up by jobs and took between 10 seconds and 2 minutes to explain their job to them and make sure they understood the expectations of their job and how to best implement it. 

After that, as I said above, it took about a week and a half with my third and fourth graders, with consistent reminders and patience,  to have our jobs and classroom running like a well oiled machine!

Examples Of Class Jobs

In my most recent podcast, I share my 3 most favorite classroom jobs out of the 25 that I have. Listen HERE. You can also subscribe to the podcast HERE so you never miss an episode!

I also shared another fave class job in this Reel on my Instagram yesterday! I’ve recently started a new Instagram series called “Tuesday tips with La Maestra Loca”.

I’ll let you listen to the podcast for my ABSOLUTE fave jobs, but outside of those three, I’ll share a couple of others! Did you listen to last week’s episode?

My classroom Librarian

They are in charge of helping aid in the distribution of class journals every day. They’re also in charge of monitoring the process of returning the journals (in a different part of the room) and then returning them here after class. When we start FVR they’ll also be in charge of keeping the library neat and tidy. 

class journals

My Classroom Time Keeper

This is such an important class job for me because I HAVE to transition EXACTLY on time this year because I only have 2 minutes to get one class to where they’re going and 2 minutes to get my next class from where they’re coming from! MOST of my classes are back to back (7 classes per day)!

Since many of my students can’t read the clock yet, I have a timer set for them so when they hear it go off they let me know there’s only 5 minutes left of class by standing, holding the sign up above their head, and yelling “CINCO MINUTOS MÁS MAESTRA!”

This is one of the TWO class jobs I did BEFORE this year, but I didn’t even realize it was such an important “job” and integral piece to my class running smoothly. Prior to this year, I had a student who could tell time just keep an eye on the clock for me, and I didn’t need to set a timer. 

Here’s what their sign looks like. The other side says, “1 minuto más clase”, so that they can use it when we’re doing an activity with a timer and they need to let the class know it is time to wrap up. 

Perfect Job For Students Who Struggle With Focusing

The PERFECT job for your students who struggle watching you and focusing is a COUNTER job. Each day, after their “do now”, students grab a baseball counter ( a la Grant Boulanger who taught me to use these with Rejoinders) and they take a mental note of WHICH word their counter is resting on.

Then, throughout the class, they “click” if they hear that word or a variation of it (first person, past tense, conditional, future, etc.). It helps keep their focus on me, and they feel like they have this super cool fidget toy! Let’s be honest, It IS a really cool fidget toy! If I see that students are distracted by their counter and are watching it more than watching me,  I simply take it and give them another opportunity the next day to start fresh! It works great!

One Final Tip

I post ALL of my class jobs, and the student names, (blurred in the photo below) so that I don’t have to look in the spreadsheet every time I need to remember who does what! Plus, kids LOVE to see their name under their job as well as see what jobs their friends have in other classes!

This is posted at the back of my classroom!

class jobs

Again, I definitely recommend learning about my THREE FAVORITE class jobs in my most recent podcast, (listen here later today), and then get to work creating some jobs that will save you time, stress, and energy! 

I’m confident you’ll feel the difference IMMEDIATELY! 

Sending you lots of love and support for the week ahead!

Happy Teaching!

Love, 

La Maestra Loca

Just for FUN, here’s a couple photos of Paul and me this past weekend. I was him and he was me for a Halloween event! The beard is just makeup, and yes. It took forever, almost two hours!