I have 6 jobs in my room- one for each color group in my class. The students are assigned to a color team according to where they sit in the classroom, and we have actually rolled out the team system building-wide in a quasi-Harry Potter house system, where we do team-building activities and contests by team (so the students on the red team in every class work together), and it has been fantastic (read more about my color teams here). I assigned a job to each team and switch the jobs halfway through each trimester, so everyone will do each job once by the end of the year.
My 6 jobs are: teacher helper, line leader, supplies, cleanup, attendance, and compliment. Teacher helpers do any odd jobs that come up- closing the door, running an errand, turning off the lights, etc. The line leader team is the first to line up at the end of class (read about my end of class procedures here). The supplies team passes out supplies like pencils, clipboards, mallets, and papers, and the cleanup team cleans up those supplies when we're done. The attendance team doesn't actually take official attendance- I don't record attendance in my room- but when students are missing I ask them to find out if they are absent, in the bathroom, or somewhere else (to make sure I have everyone in my room that I should!).
The compliment job is my favorite. I give out a happy note to one student at the end of each class (read more about that here) and it has been my number-one motivator and community builder since I started the system almost 2 years ago. This year I decided that, instead of just receiving compliments from me, students should be practicing giving compliments to each other as well. At the beginning of the year I explained that, at the end of each class, someone from the compliment team would be responsible for giving a specific compliment to someone else who is not on their team. I made the compliment open to anything they wanted- clothing, general personality traits, things they did in music class, or anything else that they knew the person would appreciate hearing. So far the students have been doing pretty well! And I am noticing that they are getting better at being specific in their compliments, and the students look forward to the compliment each day almost as much as they do the happy note :)
The students take their jobs very seriously. There are several classes where the compliment team will start whispering to each other, deciding on who and what to compliment, as we are lining up. If I ever fall back into my old ways and start passing out supplies, the supply team will actually get offended and insist that they should be handing them out! It does sometimes take more time initially when they are learning how to pass things out or how to give a compliment, but I think overall it has actually saved time because I can take care of other things while they help out. More importantly, the students are working together and contributing to the music classroom community, and that is building respect for each other and for the things we use, and it is building self-esteem and cooperation as well. I'd call that a win!
Do you use classroom jobs in your music classroom? I'd love to hear which ones you use as well- share your ideas in the comments below!