Classroom Jobs

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A Positive Discipline Teacher Tool Card

Classroom jobs give students an opportunity to feel a sense of belonging and significance by contributing in meaningful ways.

  1. Create a room full of helpers to make your job easier while encouraging your students to feel needed and capable.
  2. Brainstorm enough jobs for everyone. Examples: Water plants, empty pencil sharpener, pass out papers, straighten bookshelves, playground equipment monitor, clean up monitor, meteorologist, recycling manager, attendance and office messages, morning greeter, etc.
  3. Add the job of “Job Monitor” who oversees the completion of the jobs.
  4. Post the job list in your classroom.
  5. Rotate jobs so everyone becomes proficient in all jobs.

Success Story

I'm a French as a Second Language teacher in the elementary school system in Toronto Ontario. I've been teaching French on rotary for 8 years. There have been many challenges and it has been 3 years that I have been using Positive Discipline in the Classroom to help with these challenges.

First, I feel I need to give you some background on the subject that I teach. French is not always held in the highest regard, even though it is one of our official languages. Much of this stems from the question of separation of Quebec from Canada. Many parents don't value learning a second language and this is transferred to their children. I feel that since it is required for students (and I do believe a second language is always helpful) to complete grade 9 French, I can at least try and make it as interesting and fun as possible, while still teaching them the basics they'll need to receive their credit. Sometimes I get lucky and a few decide to continue with their French right through high school. With all this in mind when Positive Discipline in the Classroom was introduced to me, I thought "I've got nothing to lose and at least I'll have another tool."

This really isn't a story, but some comments about classroom jobs. Being on rotary this can be a very difficult task. Last year I was fortunate to have my own classroom where the students came to me. I decided I would have a "Job Wall". I had 6 classes and each class had their own chart of jobs. Each class brainstormed the jobs that they particularly needed as well as keeping in mind the time of day they had French. For example: My grade 8s decided 2 students should come in early and take down all the chairs. This worked for them but none of the other classes, as the chairs were already down. Washing the boards was another job that only 2 classes could have, the class before lunch and the one before home time.

I found that library pockets on a bristol board worked the best for me. This year however, things were much more difficult. I moved to a school where I did not have my own room. I had to travel from class to class. It was much more difficult to brainstorm jobs because you have to keep in mind that you are in someone else's classroom. First thing I made sure I did was to ask the classroom teacher for some space where I could keep a chart posted. 

Another tip that I found works is having graphics or pictures on the job pocket for the primary grades (1-3). The older students were okay with having it written and we incorporated some French by giving the jobs French names. Most of the jobs the grades 4-6 came up with were standard, but some were unique, therefore my grade 6 class came up with the idea of have a "Job Description Book". It is a duotang that has the title of the job and what is required. Students brainstormed in groups of 4 and then asked the rest of the class what they wanted to add or delete. Once it was completed all jobs had a description.

I have found that if a teacher on rotary can maintain a job chart for 6 to 7 classes which translates to 200-230 students a classroom teacher should have no problem for 1 class of 30 to 40 students.