Take This Job and Shove It!

Okay, okay, if you have taught for a year or more now, you may have had the "Take this job and shove it," thought at one time or the other.  But let's face it!  We LOVE teaching too much to quit.  So here are some tips on how to "shove" some of the responsibilities onto your students to lighten your load every day.

I sincerely believe when the students walk into the classroom at the beginning of the year, the room becomes OURS!  I want my students to take ownership of the classroom and have a sense of pride in how it looks.  There is much discussion over classroom jobs every year, but I want to look at the jobs our students do in OUR classroom as helping the teacher by lightening his/her load.

FREEBIE ALERT!  (Check out Tip #5)
First, ask yourself what are all the custodial duties you do as soon as the students walk out the door? Start writing those jobs down and prepare to make it the students' responsibility.  When you get a list large enough for your class you are ready to get started.

Here are some suggested ideas to get you started:
*Turn off computer monitors
*Push in chairs at computers or tables
*Straighten out flexible seating areas
*Charge the tablets/technology
*Use a wipe to clean any table or shelf in the room
*Put the dry erase markers and erasers back in place
*Sweep the floor
*Write tomorrow's date
*Set out morning work
*Put chairs up on desks
*Straighten book baskets or center baskets
*Empty pencil sharpener
*Close windows
*Turn off SmartBoard

I almost forgot to tell you about this amazing bargain I found at Dollar Tree!  For just $1, you can purchase a mini dust pan with broom similar to the one I have in the picture.  Here is a link to the dust pan from Dollar Tree, but at my Dollar Tree they had a combination dust pan/broom for just one dollar.  It is so worth having a few of those for end of the day jobs!  

Now all you need to do is write each job on a chart or on a card with a magnet on the back.  Plus you need a movable card with each student's name on it.  I introduce these jobs to my students and model them within a few days.  I have my job cards and student name cards on magnets so that they can all be moved if needed.

When you have modeled all the jobs, now it is their turn!  I have my students complete their job at the end of the day so we are fresh and ready to start the next morning.  I turn on an upbeat song (Phillip Phillips, Home was one of their favs) and tell them to focus on the task at hand.  When they are finished, they are to sit on the carpet.  When the song ends, time is up.  Everyone should be back on the carpet.  If we have time, I read a page or two from a book we are reading together.

 Every teacher chooses differently on how and when to switch jobs, but I have my students switch once a week.  This way everyone gets to do every job on the list.  Mondays take the longest since the job is new to them.  By Wednesday, they are rolling.  On Friday, they are so fast that I have time to switch up the names so they can see what they will be doing next week.

Tip 4 1/2 (Haha) - If you have a large number of students and can't find a job for everyone, then just give one job to several kids.  I have 2 or 3 dust pans for sweeping the floor and I have 4 pods of desks so I have 4 kids put chairs on top of the desks.  Just make it work for you!

How about some pre-made FREE Classroom Job tags that you can print and laminate now?  I got ya covered!  Here is a freebie!  You work hard for those kiddos, but you shouldn't have to do it all.  Get these labels made now so when school starts you can, "Take this job and SHOVE IT" - to your students who will love being helpers!

Floating Down the River also has some Summer Tips for Making your Next School Year Easier.

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