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We all know that teachers wear many (I mean, many) hats throughout any given school day. Managing all of the tiny details is overwhelming. Even after the lesson planning, the prepping, and the actual teaching is done, there’s still a million things to do. You need to pass out papers, change your calendar, clean those paintbrushes, stack chairs, and pick up all the scrap paper that’s left on the floor.
What if there was a better way?
I want you to imagine that it’s the end of a busy school day. You have about 15 minutes before students are dismissed to go home. You say, “ready, set, let’s do this!” and suddenly your class is at work, with each student knowing exactly what to do.
👩🏫 All the desks get cleaned up and sanitized.
🗑 Trash gets picked up off the floor.
🪑 The chairs get stacked.
🪴 The plants get watered.
📚 The library gets organized neatly with all the books put away where they belong.
🛋 The pillows are in place.
💡 The lights get turned off.
🚰 The sink gets cleaned.
✏️ Pencils get sharpened
📬 The mail is delivered to students’ desks.
…sounds pretty dreamy, right?
This can be your reality when you are very intentional about your class jobs. In my classroom, I had a job for every single student inside my classroom. Lots of teachers find this overwhelming and too much to manage, but hear me out.
I found that when I had a class job for every student, it helped to build community in my classroom. When everybody plays a role, everybody feels important in the classroom. It also helped to build responsibility, and honestly, it was a lot less work for me!
If you're just getting ready to set up your first classroom, I want to encourage you because class jobs can be easier than you think. Sometimes we have a tendency to overcomplicate what class jobs can look like inside our classrooms. The truth is, once you spend the time setting them up, class jobs can be simple and allow your students to run the classroom (in a good way!).
The key to effective classroom jobs is to put the time in at the beginning of the year to introduce each job and expectation properly. This is a marathon, not a sprint! Although teaching class jobs well at the beginning of the year requires a commitment from you in that first month, I promise you that it will make such a huge difference throughout the school year.
Trust me, I learned this the hard way. I tried skipping these steps, and guess what I did the rest of the year? I was constantly reminding kids of what to do and what not to do. I felt like I was teaching jobs all year when I could have dedicated that time at the beginning and solved so many problems from the start. I promise you, it will take a huge weight off of you.
In this episode, I’m going to share many examples of class jobs so that you can decide in advance what kinds of class jobs you want to have inside your classroom. Don't wait until the first day of school and try to figure it all out as you go, or you're going to have a very challenging first year. Your students will sense that you don't know what you're doing right because you aren't prepared. You are now the leader of your classroom, so the best thing you can do right now is get very clear about how your class jobs will work within your larger classroom management plan.
Do you need more support with your overall classroom management plan? Be sure to get on my email list to receive an invitation to my upcoming masterclass, What They Don’t Teach You in College About Preparing for the School Year and Creating a Classroom Management Plan That Actually Works. This will be held in July 2022. Don’t miss it!
I hope this information is helpful as you prepare for your first, second, or third year of teaching. Until next time, remember, just because you're a beginning elementary teacher, there's no need for you to struggle like one.
Dr. Lori Friesen | Beginning Teacher Mentor
Creator of the R.E.A.D.Y. for School Academy, Dr. Lori Friesen has mentored thousands of beginning teachers across the country through her workshops and courses. Host of the popular podcast, Beginning Teacher Talk, and creator of the innovative literacy program for 1st and 2nd grade, Dogs Help Kids Read and Succeed, Dr. Lori is dedicated to serving educators and inspiring learners. Learn more at drlorifriesen.com and at howdogshelpkids.com.
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