The start of the 2020-2021 school year was one full of uncertainty, fear, and some chaos. Now that things have settled into a bit of “normalcy,” I think it’s a great time to incorporate some classroom jobs. This post shares classroom jobs for distance learning and socially distanced classroom as well as additional resources in helping you be more organized this school year.
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I am a huge proponent of classroom jobs for a couple of reasons. First, and most importantly, they build community and teach responsibility. I think it is so important we teach our students what it means to be responsible.
Going along with responsibility, I think it is also important to utilize classroom jobs as a way to implement a classroom economy in your classroom.
A classroom economy does double duty in your classroom. It gives your students jobs (buy-in) and teaches them how to manage money (responsibility). I used a classroom economy in my classroom all my years of teaching. It was a great way for me to manage behavior, have students share some of the work that needed to be done in the classroom, and teach students financial literacy.
Finally, I think classroom jobs are important because they help YOU, the very busy teacher, reduce some of the workload on your plate. There are tons of things your students can do (in a normal year) that will help take on some of those daily tasks for keeping your classroom organized.
Classroom Jobs for Distance Learning
Coming up with ideas to engage your students with classroom jobs for distance learning feels a little bit overwhelming at first. But, as with most things in teaching, a few minutes thinking on the idea can get all sorts of creative ideas flowing.
When researching this topic, I found a couple of posts to share with you. First up, I loved Erin’s interactive digital bulletin board.
Here are a few classroom jobs for distance learning I thought of and some ideas that I got from other teachers. All of these classroom jobs could be helpful while distance learning.
- Attendance Clerk- This job can also be done virtually by assigning a student the role of tracking who was present and absent in each virtual lesson.
- Link Wrangler- There are likely a LOT of links you will be dealing with. By assigning one student to keep track of all the links for the day’s lesson, they can ensure that the links are shared with the class during whole group lessons.
- Question Curator- When I did a live webinar earlier this year, I had a lot of questions pouring in while I was talking. It was too much for me to keep up with. That’s why having my sister tune in and compile all the questions into a Google doc only her and I saw, was super helpful! You can utilize this same technique in your virtual classroom.
- Technologist- This is a job I talk about in my post on classroom jobs (in the normal times!) and can still be utilized in 2020 pandemic times.
- Brain Break Leader- This job is great for students in kinder all the way up to upper elementary. This student can either lead the brain break themselves, pick and display the GoNoodle brain break, or even just pick the GoNoodle from your computer screen.
- Time Keeper- Probably pretty self-explanatory but also I think really important to help keep you on track! 😉
- Meeting Greeter- It’s crucial you engage students before and after your virtual classes. If you are having trouble keeping students engaged, this might be a simple way to do improve that. One student’s job could be to facilitate greetings at the beginning of each lesson by welcoming students and posing fun discussion questions.
- Chat Moderator- Kind of like the Question Curator (could be the same job or two different jobs), this person keeps tabs on what is going on in the chat box to ensure it’s staying on topic.
- Virtual Assistant- This a real job in the real world, so it is the perfect classroom job for distance learning! This student can act as your “daily helper” and help you with whatever tasks you might need help with throughout the lesson. Learn more about Daily Helper and Team Captains here.
- Motivational Speaker- Have this student find jokes, thoughtful poems, or any kind of encouragement to share with the class at the end of each virtual lesson.
- Zoologist- I LOVE this idea from my friend Thom Gibson. Watch the video below to see how to incorporate this job.
The second resource to share with you is Thom’s YouTube channel. When I started scouting around the interwebs to find some great resources on classroom jobs for distance learning, my first stop was Thom’s YouTube channel. He uses a classroom economy in his classroom so I knew he would have some good ideas.
Thom also has a free download with 10 Unique Classroom Jobs for your students. Head here to download it!
Here are some classroom jobs Thom is using for distance learning this year.
Regardless of teaching in a distance learning or socially distanced situation, the Daily Helper and Team Captain jobs can be utilized in your classroom.
Daily Helpers can act as the teacher’s assistant for the day (or week). And while students may not be sharing materials and supplies, team captains can help lead teams through socially distanced cheers, reporting team answers to the teacher, and keeping virtual teams on task.
Classroom Jobs for Socially Distanced Classrooms
If you are in the classroom this year and operating from a socially distanced framework, then here are a few suggestions of classroom jobs you can use in your classroom.
- Technologist- This student’s job entails washing his or her hands before getting started, then cleaning all the technology equipment for the next day. Then, washing their hands after they are done!
- Board Eraser- This is a job you can do in a normal school year that easily translates to the socially distanced classroom since only you and the student would be touching the supplies. Just be sure to wash hands before and after! And even sanitize the supplies. (Or, honestly, I’d set aside supplies only for this job. They can serve this job a week at a time. Over the weekend the supplies will not be touched by anyone giving any germs time to die off).
- Gardener- With a year involving as much pain and heartache as this one, some plants are sure to liven up the classroom (as well as these other Hygge Classroom Ideas!).
- Videographer- If you are in a hybrid classroom, utilize the videographer to start and stop recordings of you teaching so you don’t have to.
- Sanitation Captain- There should be no shortage of sanitation supplies in your classroom this year since the Sanitation Captain will keep an eye on all supplies and let you know when they need to be replenished.
- Manipulative Monitor- As a teacher of elementary aged kids, manipulatives are imperative. This means you need manipulatives individually packaged. Utilize students, with gloves, to separate manipulatives for your students.
- Attendance Clerk- You are likely not doing any kind of clip check-in system but regardless, an attendance clerk is an easy job to incorporate into your classroom.
Here are a few more classroom job suggestions during a pandemic that I thought you might enjoy. 😉
This year is a year of craziness! Extend grace to yourself. A simple way to do that is by deciding to focus on only the things that you need to get done each day for your students to learn and for you to not lose your mind. As important as I think classroom jobs are for building community, responsibility, and an organized classroom, let them go this year if you need to!
If you do any kind of classroom jobs for distance learning, then incorporate a daily helper and team captain into your daily routines. You can get the free download and learn more about how to utilize those two classroom jobs here.
I shared a few links throughout this post, here is a quick recap of all the links.
- 10 Classroom Jobs for Elementary Teachers
- How to Implement a Classroom Economy in Your Elementary Classroom
- Daily Student Routines to Help with Classroom Organization
- Purchase the Behavior Management Economic System
- Two Must-Have Jobs: Daily Helper and Team Captain
- Download the Daily Helper and Team Captain freebie
- Thom Gibson talks How to Implement a Classroom Economy in a Middle-School Classroom
Until next time,