Not just any "classroom jobs" (like the normal "line leader", "lights", etc.)… I'm talking big time jobs for the students to do in your classroom… "computer helper", "phone screener", etc.
Believe me, they can do it! I've been "hiring out" my classroom jobs for YEARS… and it helps me to make great decisions throughout the day, because I can trust them that they'll do their job (or sometimes jobs… the plural form). Most of my students have 3 or 4 jobs each right now!
This is because I hire them by their strengths. I get to know them very early in the school year, and allow them to apply for certain jobs, I interview them, and then I hire them to complete the task(s) on a daily basis. Usually, they get to keep their jobs for about 45 days (or one school quarter)… before they get to train the next person hired.
Why does this work?
Because every child wants to feel like they are good at something. We tend to let them know what they're NOT good at, and then we wonder why there are behavior problems later on.
In my 18 years of teaching, I don't recall ANY student not wanting a job in the classroom. Most want multiple jobs, and it's usually not even about the money, either.
Now that speaks volumes…. and helps me to focus on what's important, so that I don't have that "overwhelming feeling" and can focus on what MY job is:
[Note: only 7 more days until our "P.O.W.E.R.F.U.L. Program announcement!!!]