A Twist on Student Jobs in the Classroom

Teachers are well aware of the benefits of using student jobs in the classroom. You're well aware that they help teach students leadership and responsibility. They help students take pride in their classroom and their role in it. They also help lighten your load as the teacher…

But, what about group jobs in the classroom? Why fix something that isn't broken? By the end of this blog post, I think I'll have you convinced that group jobs are the way to go!

The Benefits of Group Student Jobs in the Classroom

Student Teamwork

When students work together on jobs in the classroom, they learn to those important student teamwork skills like how to cooperate and communicate with each other. They learn to problem-solve and compromise. These are skills that will benefit them not only in school, but in their future careers.

How many times have students forgotten to do a job that you were counting on them to do? I can't remember how many times my light technician would forget to turn off the lamps at the end of the day… With group jobs, there is more than one student to tackle that task. The chance of them forgetting is much lower as a group of students is more likely to remember than one student!

More Meaningful Jobs

The next reason might be my favourite. You don't need to come up with a job for every student! You know what I'm talking about… those somewhat redundant jobs that don't really matter a ton. For example, in grade four I didn't need a line leader or a caboose but… I did need to have 27 jobs so I kept them just so every student had a role. With group jobs, students can share responsibilities so they don't all need to have their own roles. In my class, I have two students spraying tables and two students washing tables. That helps to speed up that table-washing process!

This means that jobs are more meaningful because all group roles you choose are important and necessary for a well-managed classroom. Students take more pride in their role because they know that all jobs are important. Whereas if they have one of those seemingly random jobs, they know that their job isn't crucial. Therefore, they probably won't feel they must stick to that role.

Develop Future Readiness

Since students share responsibilities with their groups, they should have the opportunity to have a short meeting where they can divvy up responsibilities and make a schedule or plan on how they will execute their job assignments. This further prepares them for the future since it teaches them advanced student teamwork and leadership skills we know they will need.

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How to Roll out Group Student Jobs

At this point, you might be thinking, “sure this all sounds great but, how do I start?” I'll share exactly how I've tweaked group jobs in my class over the years to help you get started.

Which Group To Use

At the very beginning of the year, I split my students into houses. I use class houses as my classroom management system. Because of this, I use these houses as my groups for group jobs in my class. You don't have to use a house system in your class for this to work though!

A few other ideas are creating student groups and allowing them to pick a team name. You can also use table/desk groupings if they are relatively even and you don't change them too often. I have six group jobs in my class so I have six groups to rotate through each of those roles.

Which Roles To Use

Check out the images below to see the roles that I use in my class. I edited the responsibilities to fit what students take on in my classroom. The group role titles are: clean-up crew, helping hands, student management, orderly organizers, teacher trainees, and classroom maintenance.

Changing Roles

I rotate the roles bi-weekly. I find this is a good amount of time for students to get to know their responsibilities and ensure they get done. It's also a fast enough turnaround that students get to change jobs often enough to keep them engaged.

Weekly Groups Meetings

Since roles in my classroom rotate bi-weekly, we have bi-weekly group meetings. Groups meet with one another at the beginning of a new job rotation to create their plan to divvy up responsibilities. At the end of the two weeks, they meet again to complete a quick reflection on how things went and whether they followed their initial plan, or not.

Class Board

Are you wondering where I keep all these pieces? They are all kept together on the student teamwork bulletin board. I post the student jobs and responsibilities so we can all refer back if needed. I also have the groups posted. This is especially handy for the student management job since their task is to ensure jobs are getting done. Under those things, students bi-weekly plans are posted. We refer back to these constantly to make sure everyone is staying on track within their role.

Make It Even Easier

If you read this blog post and you're thinking, “okay I'm in! I'm so trying group roles in my classroom.” Then I have the perfect resource for you to make it easy as pie. Check out my Classroom Group Jobs resource with fully editable team leadership roles.

Amber Evancio

Amber Evancio

I'm Amber Evancio and I currently teach grade four in Northern Canada. I'm passionate about helping teachers lead their classes with efficiency and love.

Welcome!

I’m Amber Evancio and I currently teach grade four in Northern Canada. I’m passionate about helping teachers lead their classes with efficiency and love.

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