It Takes a Village: A Thank You Note to All Noteworthy Positions in Schools

This one's for all people working in schools. 

Thank you. 


With all the school shutdowns, people wonder what they will do with their kids, how they will teach them and how they will entertain them. 


What will they do? 


Every day, schools provide all of these services and so many more. 


The janitors do more than just clean the school. Janitors keep kids safe from sickness and dangers within the school. They make the school a safe environment for everyone within the building. Janitors fix what’s broken and make everything okay. Janitors teach kids to be respectful in cleaning up after themselves, not to make messes and to be respectful of the space they go to school. Janitors do more than just clean. 


Teachers do not just teach math, science, language arts or any other subject; they also teach students how to be kind, to share, to be curious, to grow and learn. Teachers see their students five days a week, all day, they form incredible bonds. Students look to their teachers for support, encouragement and role models. Teachers do so much more than just teach the essentials.  


Cooks do more than just preparing meals for students. They are the ones making sure the food is okay by making connections and seeing students every day, knowing allergies and keeping students safe from what they can’t eat. They teach students patience, waiting in line, how to be kind and use manners. Cooks do so much more than just make food.     


Paraprofessionals do more than just help. Para’s bounce between classrooms, helping individuals, small groups, large groups or the whole classroom. Many paras have a one-on-one student and still end up helping the whole class. Paras help to support all staff and students in the school doing whatever they can to make sure everyone is getting the support they need.     


Secretaries do more than just checking people in. These people are at the front line of the building seeing who comes and goes. Keeping track of who is in the building and if they should be there or not. They protect the entire building. They handle the phone calls, make sure students know where to go after school or whose picking them up. Secretaries are often the first to greet incoming students and put a smile on their face. Secretaries do more than just check people in.    


Nurses do more than provide hand sanitizer and Bandaids. Nursers are the ones providing clothes if a student needs a change, feminine supplies, care for all kinds of injuries and sickness. Nurses are the ones calling parents, arranging pick-ups, and making sure students are safe and healthy. Nurses are the ones risking getting sick to help heal others. Nurses do more than just provide hand sanitizer and bandaids.   


Substitutes do more than hit play on the video. Substitutes are willing to walk into a classroom of strangers, fully well knowing they might have no idea what the plan for the day is. Substitutes care for entire classrooms filled with students when teachers can’t be there. Substitutes do everything they can to not let students miss a day of instruction and education. Substitutes do more than just hit the play button on videos. 


Principles aren’t only there when students are in trouble. Principles make decisions for the school and the students. Principles are the ones who are often the face of the school and have to be exemplary inside and outside of school at all times. Principles aren’t just for trouble; they are for rewarding an excellent school or classroom. They are the ones who celebrate and encourage all students. Principles aren’t only there when students are in trouble.


Counselors aren’t just for listening. Counselors help students navigate through life and school. Counselors are often seeking more information about colleges, trade schools or work for students post-graduation. Counselors are often the ones who have to debrief students after tragedies within the school. Counselors are there to listen but to also offer support, guidance, and help in all aspects of life for students. Counselors aren’t just for listening.


Librarians do more than just check out books. Librarians are in charge of keeping the library clean and in order, checking in and out books, keeping the order of all the books circulating about, and finding and ordering new books. Librarians must seek out a wide variety of books covering wide ranges of topics to ensure there is something for everyone to read. Librarians have to find things that the students will read. Librarians do more than just check out books.


Support staff does more than just support. Support staff covers a wide range of different teachers and staff members who help to support students in any way that they can. These teachers help to prepare materials or lessons for all students to ensure they succeed. Support staff faces challenges trying to find ways to adapt classroom materials to help students. These staff members understand their students and spend as much time as needed trying to figure out how to help a student best. Support staff does more than just support. 


Many people assume the least from academic workers: they do their job and no more. The truth is, it is rare to meet someone working in a school that is just doing “their job.” Everyone working in schools goes above and beyond to ensure the safety, education, and well-being of the students within their school are okay. All of these people are keeping kids safe, teaching them life and academic skills, and doing everything they can to keep their school up and running successfully. 


If you have children in a school or any connection to a school, next time you have the chance, thank every employee you encounter or that supports your child within that school.    


Thank you to the: janitors, teachers, cooks, paraprofessionals, secretaries, nurses, substitutes, principles, counselors, librarians, support staff and anybody else who works within a school. Thank you.       


Without all of these people, schools wouldn’t work.