Classroom Jobs for Elementary School Students

Teaching Responsibility with Job Applications and More

Girl (6-8) carrying desk and chair in classroom
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If we want to teach children to be responsible, we have to trust them with responsibilities. Classroom jobs are an effective way to enlist students in the duties of running a classroom. You can even have them fill out a Classroom Job Application. There are many different jobs you can choose from for use in your classroom.

The First Step - Pitch Your Idea

Tell the students that, soon, they will have the opportunity to apply for classroom jobs. Give them a few examples of the types of jobs that are available and watch their eyes light up as they imagine themselves as the little rulers of a certain domain of the classroom. Make it clear that when they accept a job they will have to take it very seriously, and if they do not meet their commitments they can be "fired" from the job. Make this announcement a few days before your plan to formally introduce the job program so that you can build anticipation.

Decide on the Duties

There are hundreds of things that need to be done to run a successful and efficient classroom, but only a couple dozen that you can trust the students to handle. Thus, you need to decide how many and which jobs to have available. Ideally, you should have one job for each student in your class. In classes of 20 or fewer, this will be relatively easy. If you have many more students, it will be more challenging and you may decide to have a few students without jobs at any given time. You will be rotating jobs on a regular basis, so everyone will have a chance to participate eventually. You also have to consider your own personal comfort level, the maturity level of your class, and other factors when you decide how much responsibility you ready to give your students.

Use a Classroom Jobs List to get ideas for which jobs, in particular, will work in your classroom.

Design an Application

Using a formal job application is a fun opportunity for you to get each student's commitment in writing that they will perform any job to the best of their abilities. Ask students to list their first, second, and third choice jobs. 

Make the Assignments

Before you assign the jobs in your classroom, hold a class meeting where you announce and describe each job, collect applications, and emphasize the importance of each and every duty. Promise to give each child his or her first or second choice job some time throughout the school year. You will need to decide and announce how often the jobs will be changing. After you assign the jobs, give each student a job description for their assignment. They will use this to learn what they need to do, so be explicit!

Monitor their Job Performance

Just because your students now have jobs doesn't mean you can just sit back and take it easy while they perform their duties. Watch their behavior closely. If a student is not performing the job properly, conference with him or her and tell the student exactly what you need to see in their performance. If things don't improve, it might be time to consider "firing" them. If their job is essential, you will need to find a replacement. Otherwise, simply give the "fired" student another chance during the next cycle of job assignments. Don't forget to schedule a certain time each day for the jobs to be performed.

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Your Citation
Lewis, Beth. "Classroom Jobs for Elementary School Students." ThoughtCo, Apr. 5, 2023, Lewis, Beth. (2023, April 5). Classroom Jobs for Elementary School Students. Retrieved from Lewis, Beth. "Classroom Jobs for Elementary School Students." ThoughtCo. (accessed June 10, 2023).