Are you looking for ways to engage your special education students? Classroom jobs are a great way to give them ownership of their space, provide leadership opportunities, and make meaningful connections with other students and staff. They also boost confidence and self-esteem!
In this blog post, we’ll explore five practical yet engaging jobs your special needs students can hold in the classroom—from attendance to bulletin board manager. Read on to find out which jobs would best suit each of your unique students!
Why class work is important
For special learners, classroom work can be a fantastic tool to support their development and social skills.
Working together in jobs—from classroom assistant roles to taking ownership of classroom items like pets—provides important opportunities for learning and growth in the classroom environment.
Not only does this help improve classroom culture, it gives each student the opportunity to express themselves and practice everyday life skills outside of traditional academic study.
Advantages of working in the classroom in Special Ed
One of the great benefits of having special needs students join classrooms is that it can help them develop new skills and increase their independence.
Special students can gain valuable experience in communication, collaboration and problem solving. As they become more comfortable in their roles, it can build confidence and help them feel successful throughout the day. This can lead to improved academic performance!
For teachers, the active role of special education students in the classroom is an excellent way to develop basic life skills that can meet some of the goals of IEP.
Examples of classroom work for special students
There are many opportunities that special needs students can have in the classroom!
For example, they could help by being paper passengers or even line managers. They might like to be encouraging and give words of encouragement to their peers during activities.
For more independent children, monitoring attendance and keeping the room tidy can give them a sense of pride. And for those who need extra support – such as organizing their materials – help with managing pencils or a classroom library can go a long way in making them feel included.
With so many options available to special learners, every child can find something to do in the classroom.
Assigning a special education student to be the recycling monitor in the classroom is an excellent way to help them acquire important skills and responsibilities.
Students will not only have the chance to learn new concepts, but will also be considered an invaluable member of the class.
Designating a recycling monitor will increase accountability by teaching students how to be proactive in reducing waste.
Through this work, students can discover how everyone has a role to play in caring for the Earth and understand that small actions can lead to big changes.
This can be such a fun role! Animal Caregiver is a great way for special education students to learn responsibility while caring for an adorable classroom pet.
They can take care of the pet’s needs by filling the pet’s food bowl, making sure water is always available, and cleaning the cage.
This can be a great opportunity for them to develop their animal care skills and show others that they are reliable too!
Table service is an important job in any classroom and can help create a sense of responsibility.
In this role, student assistants will organize and monitor materials on tables and desks. They will also need to be able to follow instructions and work independently.
Being a desk attendant is a great opportunity for special education students to practice organizational skills such as tidying up documents, separating different materials by type or purpose, and tracking consumable consumption.
This work can help build their confidence and give them valuable life skills and experience.
Message Board Manager
All classrooms need someone to help manage the bulletin board, and this is a great task for special education students to take on in their classroom.
As a board administrator, they will be responsible for monitoring upcoming events and posting new information as it comes. They can also help change the board every month.
It will give them a sense of ownership and responsibility while helping the classroom look great.
Being an attendee is an important job that special education students can have in the classroom.
It requires the student to attend at the beginning of each period to ensure that everyone is present.
This job comes with a sense of responsibility as it is up to the student to check off every name and keep track of who is and who is not in their class each day.
Being involved in attendance also gives students a chance to develop organizational and communication skills that are an important part of every student’s education and growth.
How to manage assignments in the classroom
Setting up and managing special classroom jobs for your students can be daunting, but it’s worth the effort.
Creating worksheets, assigning responsibilities, and communicating clearly with students and their families will help make this process easier.
Consider having multiple jobs that can be rotated between students interested in specific roles.
It is important to link work responsibilities with tangible goals that can recognize achievements and help build self-esteem.
Of course, your primary focus should remain on differentiating instruction while providing support specific to each student.
With the right amount of planning and consideration, working in special needs classrooms is sure to offer all your students a sense of purpose and ownership over their learning process.
How to make class work interesting
Incorporating classroom work for special education students can be a great way to teach them organizational and communication skills, but keeping them engaged can also be a challenge.
Try breaking work down into manageable tasks and set small goals to make it more interesting.
Create visually stimulating worksheets or work folders with pictures of each task so they always know what to do.
You want class work to be an exciting opportunity instead of a boring chore.
Classroom assignments are an effective way to help special needs students engage in learning in the classroom environment. These meaningful and engaging tasks allow them to contribute and feel part of their learning environment.
With their individual needs in mind, teachers can present these assignments in a creative and exciting way that encourages student engagement.
Each job has its own set of responsibilities, and any combination of roles discussed here can give students the tools they need to become independent learners.
The focus shouldn’t be on just completing tasks either. Instead, it should be about helping to foster a community mentality where everyone has an important role to play and can make a valuable contribution.