Classroom Jobs in Spanish

I love classroom jobs. It was something I overlooked for the first 2-3 years of teaching but once I implemented student jobs in my Spanish immersion class the magic happened.

Here are three things I learned from implementing student’s jobs (trabajos del salon) in my Spanish classrooms:
1. Student’s love jobs.
My kids were always excited to do their “job” and would notice if I forgot to reassign jobs. They liked doing their job to help the class and stay busy or do something “fun”.
2. It teaches students to be responsible and holds them accountable for something.
Most of my students took pride in having a job and completing it. Some enjoyed their ‘job’ more than others but they did get an opportunity to switch jobs every two weeks. By the end of the year, each student had done almost all of the jobs. My students also held each other accountable for their work and would call each other out if someone didn’t do what they were supposed to or forgot.
3. It takes a bunch of responsibility off of my plate.
I loved classroom jobs because I stopped wasting my time stacking chairs, cleaning up tables and paper scraps and other tasks that a class of 25+ students could do in a matter of 2-5 mins. Classroom jobs gave me more time to teach vs. be a maid or “mommy” to my students.

Here are the two types of class job charts that I have used. For my first-grade Spanish immersion class, I have used a job board or chart. I laminated and chose the jobs that I wanted in my class, bought some library pocket cards, a piece of poster board (or you could staple to a bulletin board) and some tape/staples to assemble. I write each student’s name on a wide craft stick and assign them a job. For my students that don’t get a job, they are either substitutes or “on vacation”. It is somewhat involved to create, however you should be able to use it for several years in a row.

The second option and easiest way to set up classroom helpers, it involves 1 piece of paper and a few clothespins or clips that can be bought at Wal-Mart or Target for less than $3. You can get the simple job board file here.

Some common questions and answers about having student job charts in your classroom.

1. How often should I change student jobs?
That totally depends on you. Weekly or bi-weekly has worked best for my classes in the past.
2. How many jobs should I have?
Again—that depends on you, your class size and duration. Maybe you only want 3-5 classroom helpers a week whereas another teacher will want all students to have a job each week. One thing I do like is having it a ‘Substitute’ job so that everything always gets done by someone and we don’t have to figure out what to do when one student it absent and can’t do their assigned job.
3. Which jobs should I have in my classroom?
Depends on the age of your students, what you would like them to do and how many students you want being class helpers at the same time. If it is your first time, you might want to start out with 5-10 jobs and then make changes from there. Remember nothing is forever… you are in charge of your classroom and if you realized that you need another job– add it… don’t wait until next year. You could also use your ‘ayudante de la maestra’ as the catch-all. So, anything ‘special’ or that you forgot could be done by the teacher’s helper.
4. Can I use jobs if I am a specialist or departmentalized?
I don’t see why not. It would work great in secondary Spanish classes for anything that you do routinely—pass out papers, organize or put away books, technology helper, etc. An easy way to organize would be to assign your students a number and then number the craft sticks or clothes pins; that way you wouldn’t need a different job chart board for every class.
5. Can I only have classroom job charts in elementary or will it work in a secondary classroom?
See answer number four. Same things apply. It should work, give it a try and let us know how it goes and which jobs work best for your classroom.
6. Where can I get the job charts in Spanish that are pictured?
You can get the jobs for the pocket chart in Spanish here. If you would like to get the simple Bilingual clip chart job chart ( Spanish and English version included) you can get it here.

I’d love to hear how you use classroom jobs in your dual language, Spanish immersion or Spanish language classroom. Leave a comment and let us know.