Classroom jobs are a great addition to your classroom community. They teach students responsibility and to care for their materials. Here are a few ideas for implementing classroom jobs effectively.
Just a quick note before we dive into classroom jobs. One thing to remember when making classroom jobs a part of your routine is to avoid students with disabilities doing school-wide janitorial tasks. We don't want to portray students with disabilities this way, and we shouldn't expect them to complete tasks that are not required by their peers.
There are special considerations, however, where this may be appropriate. For example, maybe a student has a janitorial career goal and a transition goal to align. Or perhaps a student is highly motivated by cleaning, and working with the janitor is a reinforcer.
Daily Classroom Jobs Built Into Routines
One option for classroom jobs is to build them directly into your classroom routines. When students come to school, part of their morning routine can be completing their daily classroom job.
I loved doing this with my students because it gave them something to do when they came into the classroom daily. I had several classroom jobs that students rotated through weekly. Some of the morning jobs I had were to set up our lunch choice chart, plug in classroom technology and devices, change the date on the whiteboard or our letter board, change the question of the day, etc.
You can also incorporate classroom jobs into your end-of-day routine. Look at your routines that are already in place and determine where you have some extra time to fill. Some years, I had students that needed to eat breakfast first thing in the morning, so we fit daily jobs into the end of the day routine instead.
Weekly Classroom Jobs
Another option for classroom jobs is to complete them weekly. Each week, students would be assigned a new classroom job, and on Friday afternoons, we would all participate in our classroom clean up before the weekend.
I like to incorporate classroom jobs into our classroom economy system. Because our weekly jobs took more time and were above and beyond our typical daily jobs, I used punch cards to reinforce students when their job was complete. Once they earned en punches, they earned an additional $10 for the classroom store.
Customizing Classroom Jobs
You can easily customize your classroom jobs to address student skills or IEP goals. Here are a few different ways to do so.
If you have a student who has a goal to complete a routine or follow a visual schedule, classroom jobs are a great time to address this goal.
If you have a student working on social skills and greetings, consider having them do a job that requires them to interact with other school faculty. For example, delivering materials to the office, delivering mail, picking up teachers' recycle bins, etc.
Some students struggle with a new job every week and need more time to master a skill. For some students, I assigned them the same job week after week, so they had the consistency and time to improve. These students also had more para support to complete their jobs.
Change things until they work for your classroom and students. This may mean adjusting the schedule of classroom jobs, adding visuals or checklists, or assigning paras or peer tutors to assist individual students. Like most things in our classrooms, classroom jobs may look different from year to year, but they will be a valuable addition to your schedule!