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Classroom Jobs to Build Community (K-2)

By Naomi O'Brien


One thing I pride myself on is having a safe and kind classroom environment. Visitors to my classroom always notice and compliment me on the culture of my classroom. It’s always evident there was great classroom management going on.

One of the many things I personally think contributes to my wonderful classroom environment is the way I run my classroom jobs.

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I have a job for every single student in my class. Some years that means 18 jobs and other years that means 28 jobs!

I’m sure it seems like a lot, but stay with me, okay?

There’s no way that I could memorize all of my students’ jobs each week, so I use library pocket cards to make a job board. For the years that I didn’t have wall/board space, I used a foam poster board that I leaned up against a window on a counter.

I write their names on index cards and place them in the library pocket cards. I use index cards to as inserts because they are easy to switch out. Every Monday, everyone gets a new job.

Changing Jobs

Starting at the bottom of the job chart, I remove the line reviewer index card with the name on it and hold on to it (for now). Then I move everyone over one job to the right. (Vacation is only used when someone is unable to do any of the jobs and needs a week off.) When I get back to the top row and move everyone over, the line reviewer from the previous week becomes the new line leader for the following week.

Why on earth would I do all of this?

  1. It’s not as overwhelming as it might look.
  2. It helps all of my students feel like they are a part of the classroom.
  3. We all get to work together to make our learning environment run safely and efficiently.
  4. I need and appreciate all of the help!
  5. They love it and it helps them learn how to be responsible and work towards a common goal.

When to Introduce Jobs

I introduce my classroom jobs on the first day of school.

I really hype it up. I let my students know how important their jobs are and how much we all need to work together to have a great year. This helps build a sense of community. It takes a village, right?

I let them know that while some jobs may seem like more fun than others, they are all important and needed. When everyone does their part, we all succeed.

What Jobs do I Use?

I use any and every job I need! I even used a key finder one year because I was always misplacing my keys, but the students seemed to always know where they were.

If I need more than one person for a job, I make as many labels of that job as I need.

For example, I might have 3 chair monitors, 2 librarians, and 3 supply helpers, but have one of everything else.

Attendance Reminder is one of my personal favorites. Do I even need to explain why?

Job Descriptions

After letting my students know they will all have various jobs each week throughout the year, I let them know what the job descriptions and expectations are. I discuss each job and allow them to ask questions. I project the following slides from a slideshow I created.

They love it! They are always excited when they find out they will do each job at least once before the end of the school year.

As moments for the jobs arise, I make sure to utilize my new hires! (If I don’t, they sure do remind me.) I have used these jobs in K-2 over the past 10 years and it’s always been a wonderful component of what makes our classroom so amazing.

They each get a new job on Monday and they stay in that position for the entire week. I change the jobs every Monday during morning meeting.

Friend Patrol is one job that is very important for me to always include. My kids always went above and beyond to find classmates that were alone at recess or someone who needed a friend during lunch.

I truly believe these jobs accelerate how quickly our class becomes more like family each year.

Clean up crew is one job kids aren’t too excited about at first, until they realize they have access to my broom and dustbin.

I don’t know what it is, but my students LOVE sweeping. When the rule is that only clean-up crew can touch the broom for the week, it quickly becomes a coveted job.

I just purchase a broom and dust bin from the dollar free and store it in the classroom.

Whenever my students line up in my class, line leader is always first followed by the door holder. Then my light monitor. Everyone else fills in and my line reviewer is last.

What is it about kids and being last in line? Most despise it, but my line reviewer job takes care of that!

As we are walking through the hall and stopping at certain points before continuing, I periodically ask the line reviewer how the line is looking. They usually give me a thumbs up or a thumbs down, and I inform the class if we can continue or not.

My line walking rule is that our line shouldn’t keep other people from working or learning. No one has to “catch a bubble” or be perfectly still- we just have to be respectful.

On Vacation

Any students that do not want or can not do their jobs respectfully or safely get to take a vacation for the rest of the week. I have my student with the job title of substitute take over that job on those rare cases.

I hope these ideas are something you might be able to use with your students!

If you’d like to purchase the library pocket card job labels and job descriptions they are available on my site. Click on the image below.




Hi, I'm Naomi

I have been teaching elementary students for over 10 years. Effective reading instruction and accurate social studies at the primary level are huge passions of mine! 

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