1. They doubt it will work.
With traditional models of teaching hovering about us, doubts about classroom jobs are absolutely normal. Don’t beat yourself up for wondering if this will work. You are doing this for your sanity, even if no one else gets it. If you stick with it, you will succeed!
2. They begin to focus.
When you first start to look at the tasks that need to be done in a classroom just a few potential classroom jobs will come to mind. But as the idea of sharing responsibility starts catching on you will see how much effort you are putting forth into working on things that someone besides you can do.
3. They get help.
Some people love to complain about how busy they are. They may get their meager reward of sympathy, but once you start thinking in terms of classrooms jobs you are not going to do that. Instead of griping about how much you have to do you are going to seek out answers. You are going to look for advice from fellow teachers that have used classroom jobs. And you are going to get help from your students.
4. They stop doing certain tasks.
Maybe you don’t quit doing every minor task in the classroom, but you start looking for things that students could do. This added energy from the students helps you and the good of the entire class.
5. They give up control.
This may be the hardest idea to internalize: You do not have to be in control of everything all of the time. You can share some control with your students. You can get them to buy in to creating a culture of learning in your classroom. To do that you need to turn over a certain amount of power to your students. When you share the governance and work of the classroom you get more buy in from students and it changes everything.
6. They change their idea of what it is to be a teacher.
You do not have to have all of the answers. You do not have to be involved in every single action happening in the classroom. Rather than the driver of learning you begin to become the guide.
7. They become more creative.
When your mind is freed up from the scores of tiny tasks in the classroom, you have space in your brain for new and better ideas. Teaching is cognitively taxing, but with a little bit of memory freed up you will begin to see new ways of doing things, now ways of connecting with your students.
8. They work smarter.
Many teachers do not have time to think in the hubbub of daily teaching. Classroom jobs let you take time to think. You can make the micro adjustments that make the lesson, the unit, the quarter and the entire school year run more smoothly.
9. They keep working hard.
Recruiting students to do classroom jobs does not mean we quit working. It frees us to work on what we are good at, on jobs that only we can do. That freedom gives more energy and more ideas with the result that we are working more efficiently. We are free to do the work we wanted to do when we signed up to be a teacher—designing creative lessons and connecting with kids.
10. They spend time with their family and friends.
Classroom jobs can free us to teach more efficiently and then go home at a decent hour. Spending time outside of school allows us to recharge our batteries and return the next day refreshed.
Here are some resources for classroom jobs: