Teaching Ideas We Are THANKFUL for! {Kim from For a Love of Teaching}

As a teacher, there's not many moments during the school year that I actually stop, take a deep breath, and reflect on what is going on around me.  However, I found myself doing just that this week as I prepared for this blog post - Teaching Ideas We Are Thankful For!  

It's much easier for me to complain about the little things that wears on me daily as a teacher, but this week I stepped back and took a moment to focus on those "little things" that I'm thankful for in my classroom.  In North Carolina, our state budget has been repeatedly cut over the past six years. Unfortunately, teacher assistants in the classroom is one position that our state has been slowing weeding out.  As a 4th grade teacher, I was one of the first to lose any type of help from what few assistants we had left in our school.  So, I've had to manage a classroom on my own for sometime now. With no help in the classroom, I've had to learn to find that help in other ways.  I quickly learned that Room Mom's are the best thing since sliced bread, especially if you can find a good one!  I've also learned that students can do and be responsible for much more than they are given credit for!

In order to maintain my sanity and keep my everyday classroom chores at a minimum, I came up with classroom duties for my students.  The first year I implemented them I was amazed at how well my students did with the responsibilities I gave them!  The following year, I added a few more.  Once again, they excelled! I watched them take pride in their jobs, and their feelings of being 'just a student' in a room of 18 to 20 others changed, as they were now able to feel ownership of the classroom.

So, instead of being ungrateful for not having a teacher assistant, today I'm VERY THANKFUL that I have 18 dependable students that can help me fulfill many of those classroom duties that might otherwise be the job of myself or an assistant.  

I came up with 24 student job descriptions and assignment cards (found here) that are super fun and very helpful in the classroom!  Each student was required to "apply" for their job with a job application. This was done the first week of school.

After reading their preferred job choices from their application, I was able to "hire" students for their daily duties in the classroom.  All students were assigned to at least two jobs. Students were told that they could be "fired" at anytime for not fulfilling their duties to my expectations, and YES I've fired students and rehired students many times! However, most of them take their job assignments seriously and want to do their best to impress their teacher! :)

Here's a few of my students "in action" as they perform their daily duties.  

I use an Expo marker to write the names of students on the assignment cards.  This makes it easy to change in case I need to fire move a student to a better suited job. ;) 

 Some classroom duties require several students in order to perform them at an acceptable speed.  Others only require 1-2 students.

I also have a girls bathroom monitor.  We all know that students love to tattle, so I have to be careful when assigning this duty!  I always try to pick a student that seems mature enough to handle it.

I'd love to hear how you manage daily classroom duties in your classroom.  Since I don't have extra help in my classroom these job assignments are a life saver!  I'm so thankful for my little group of 4th graders that are willing and dependable enough to help me out!


  1. Oh I love this Kim! I've added your cute assignment cards to my wish list!! What I love most is how the cards describe the character traits students must posses in order to tackle the job! What a great way to give all students a chance to be leaders. Love love love this!!

  2. I use this product in my classroom, too. It's wonderful! I could never do it alone. As you know, teachers don't get to teach much anymore - there are so many tasks to get done. These jobs are a sanity-saver! (And the kids LOVE them!!!)

    Monica, NC Teacher Chick