Classroom Jobs Made Easy

For the first 15 years or so of my teaching career (which makes me sound older than dirt!) I chose and displayed classroom jobs the traditional way. I had the requisite door holder, line leader, paper passer, etc. This works. It worked for me, kinda, for many moons.

Over the years I had a few problems that irked me. First the perpetual moaning that so-and-so hasn't been line leader in forever (from both students and their parents). Then there was the fact that I would usually forget to change over the jobs until Monday when we were heading out of the room for the first time in a rush and we had no door holder. If I did remember, I was annoyed by the time it took me to pick all the jobs and move the little cards around the bulletin board. I also have limited bulletin board space and really can't staple much to the walls. All of these things were livable though. The one thing that really annoyed me was that I could never remember who was supposed to do what! I can't even tell you the number of times I would be standing with a stack of papers in my hand asking, "Where are my paper passers? Who are my paper passers? Paper Passers Please??!!" as I squinted across the room to try to read the names on the job chart.

So, in an effort to maintain my sanity and eyesight, I came up with another solution. I now have just 2 daily helpers who do pretty much EVERY job that needs to be done in a day. I choose two kids each day to be my Boehm Buddies and they get to be line leader, door holder, paper passer, errand runner, and so on and so on. Here's how we display the jobs this year:

This is on the front whiteboard. That magnetic pocket is awesome for this. I actually had it for a while and wasn't sure how to use it. I printed all of the kids names on cute little graphics and added a magnet to the back. Now all the kids who have not had a job yet live in the front pocket. After a kid has a turn at being a  Boehm Buddy, their name goes in the back pocket until all have had a turn, then we start over again.

I'm loving this set up. Last year, I had their names on little fish cut-outs that lived in this pelican. It was cute, but kind of hard to dig down into to get their names out, then I had to keep the ones already picked on top of the pelican bill which was kind of a pain.

I have also found that some kids are just not cut out for some jobs. And some jobs require some training and commitment on the part of the job holder. So, in addition to daily Boehm Buddies, I have some jobs that are permanent. Permanent as in all year or until I realize I made a horrible mistake by choosing that kid for that job.One permanent job is for 2 librarians. When my kids are done with a book, they don't return it to the proper basket. Instead I have them all put them in the book return basket. This year, it's the cute owl basket perched on the shelf. (this was before the library was all finished. Excuse the naked baskets...)

I teach the librarians how to follow the stickers to return the books to the proper baskets and they do it whenever they have a few free minutes. I make sure to pick kids who are fast finishers and seem pretty organized. I can spot my potential librarians pretty quickly.

Other permanent jobs include tables washers and floor sweepers. Each class chooses a team of 3 to stay behind the class and clean the lunch table and sweep the floor. From the volunteers, I usually choose three kids who seem to work well together and can handle the few minutes of freedom they get walking back to the classroom by themselves.

Other permanent employees include my tech team (2 kids who can turn the computers off and on and troubleshoot minor problems) and one final job is the clip keeper. That lucky little kid makes sure all of the clips on our clip chart are moved back to Ready to Learn for the next day.

Even if a nugget has a permanent job, they also stay in the rotation for Boehm Buddy. So hypothetically, my Boehm Buddy might also be my librarian.

Since I've changed to this simpler system, I've been much happier. Kids get to do all the jobs and more often than they used to. I only have to remember two kids each day, and everyone seems to be ok with the whole shebang.

At this stage in the game, anything that simplifies my life and saves my sanity is too good to keep to myself, so I just thought I'd share the idea with you. I'd love to hear your thoughts on class jobs!



  1. I love your jobs method. I can see myself with papers on my hands asking for the paper-passers or going to the back of the room to check the names. :)

  2. This is a fabulous post! I have that pocket and will totally be creating that system this weekend. LOVE it! Thanks so much..... :)

  3. I have been frustrated with the whole "job" system, too! I love this post! So simple, yet so efficient! I will definitely be switching to your system. Thank you so much for sharing this idea.
    Natalies Nook

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  5. I do something very similar to you. I have two daily helpers (line leaders, paper passers, errand runners, etc) and then I have one door holder and lights person. It's SOOOO much easier!
    Teaching in the Valley

  6. This is seriously smart. It does take foooorever to get through some of the jobs the other way. Thanks Denise! And you do not sound old!!

  7. Where did you get your cute owl basket???

  8. Where did you get your cute owl basket???

  9. I was laughing all through your description of job problems, since I could relate to nearly every issue!! I love your new system idea- I think I might try it out!! And the pelican helps sell it, even though he's from last year- he's adorable! Thanks for sharing! :)

  10. Love it! We have a star of the day who is in charge of everything we need done. If we need more then the star that person picks a friend to help. We have been doing this for 5 years now and the kids love it and we love not having to deal with a helpers chart!:)
    Lisen & Katie

  11. How funny! I am switching to 2 daily helpers this year, too! Last year I was kinda "over" the job chart, and I was the only one on my team who was doing it that way! This year I'll have one boy and one girl helper each day (we walk in the hallway in 2 lines, so they can both be line leaders) who do everything, but I have been thinking I may choose some students to be the permanent helper for the library. :) LOVE your cute clip art with their names!!

    Teach On.

  12. LOVE your 2 buddies solution to jobs. I have found that I reduce the number of jobs every year. I am now down to 3. All of the same work gets does, but each job title encompasses a lot more things now. SO much easier. :D
    ❤Dragonflies in First ❤

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  14. I started a return basket this year, too! I'm sure my books will be more organized because of it! Cute system!!

  15. I am definitely starting a return basket this year! What a fabulous routine! They never, ever return the books to the correct bins. Thanks for sharing that idea!

    Second Grade Sparkle

  16. My first few years I did all different jobs also. But for the last several (this is year 11 for me) I have 2 helping hands each day. I write the names on hand shaped cutouts. I acutally found them this year at the Target dollar spot. Each day I pick 2 new helpers and the previous ones go to the back of the pile.

    Fun and Learning in First

  17. This sounds great. School starts Wed and I will be putting this into play. It makes sense, especially for those jobs that only happen once or twice a week versus the jobs that happen several times a day. Everyone gets a shot at EVERYTHING, plus a few extras for good measure. Thanks for coming up with the idea and sharing!

  18. I have the children's desks grouped. At the beginning of each month I give them a form with a list of jobs and a spot for the team name. Each group has a supply person, a collector, librarian, etc. They chose a team name and jobs. Everyone has to be happy with the results. They always work it out. I don't take the paper back until everyone assures me that they are happy.

  19. I LOVE this idea! I used a variation of it when I was in the classroom. Definitely more effective than the old system. :-) I called mine "Student Teachers" and have their names on a poster posted on a wall. I moved a clip to the next name each day to indicate the student teacher. Then, just like you, I had static jobs. :-) Great system!

  20. Dang! I wish I'd read this last week, before starting with the jobs I have! I've already forgotten to change the jobs today (Monday) until we were walking out the door for the first time, and I totally can't remember who's supposed to do what! What a great idea...I wonder if second graders could take a change in systems so early in the year. Hmmmmmm....


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