I have seen much wonder Movies and reading lots of comics with my kids before we went back to school a few weeks ago. As a teacher, it was great to feel like an avenger, words of appreciation and support from parents, school board members, and especially students, contradicting the crazy, ignorant comments we have become accustomed to over the past decade. But when I pushed the chair off the staff table that I hadn’t touched in the past 5 months, I paused for a moment just to appreciate the work that those consideredbackbone“Our schools have and will do this in this unique school year. They are the true superheroes of 2020-21.
WHO THEY ARE
When the school buildings closed, the people in charge of completely refurbishing the schools worked tirelessly to prepare them for their reopening. After many schools have reopened, their jobs are the lifelines of our school. As if cleaning up after teenage years wasn’t enough, now the intense antivirus measures will determine whether schools can and will stay open, especially if outbreaks occur. Wear your cape proudly.
Driving on a bus with lots of children and keeping an eye on the road doesn’t sound appealing. To know that some of them could infect drivers who, in many cases, are now doubling or tripling the number of routes they normally drive – that is now remarkable. Some bus drivers own their community so much that one of my co-workers said her driver called all of the parents to meet their children’s needs this year. That’s a hero right there.
Every morning when I come to school there are about a dozen teacher assistants doing a new task – they scan students for a temperature check. While they work during the school day, they are often paired with the group of children whose needs have been least met and who have fallen behind the most. In addition, there are so many new tasks that our helpers perform, but like with real Crusaders, their guiding principle remains the same: how to best serve the students and the school. Some have as different a schedule as they come, but they keep answering the bat signal call no matter where it takes them.
School safety has a new meaning, but let’s not forget a year ago what we were most concerned about. These people certainly haven’t. Our school security guard, a retired police officer who really loves kids and his job, makes sure we aren’t so distracted that the homeostasis of our school home is intact.
Maintenance & craft
When CDC guidelines emerged for everything from turning off water fountains to making sure the airflow in a school met a certain criterion, the things we barely think about behind the scenes at a school became as important as everything in our belt of the Superhero weapons.
Speaking of which, as school districts around the world are exhausting global laptop supplies to move their district 1: 1 (one computer for each student) very often, the problem solvers who address our most pressing problems – computers, networks, and programs – are most become dynamic part of our superhero team. I can’t tell you how many times my students have come by to watch them work their magic.
If you ever wonder why your school has a particular timetable, chances are it will accommodate these people. Many have transitioned from heavy, student-served buffet service to full house-to-house operation served by staff. The choice of food is much more limited and the work is much finer as every hygiene box needs to be checked after our students during the preparation, serving and tidying up. In addition, many more are working on creating packed lunches to make sure that some of our neediest children eat at home regularly during the week, and they have been doing so all summer. “Lunch Ladies – Gather!”
One thing that impressed me the most was how many students asked to go to the library to read books and take them home. You had to create new guidelines for the provision and collection of books. They also had to wear new hats and often served as technological epicentres to assist the technical staff.
Front office employees
One of the first lessons my mentor taught me when I was hired 15 years ago was to make friends with the front office staff. Your principals will come and go, but your secretaries and administrative assistants will often be there for decades. This not only makes them the superheroes of our school and answers the many questions that parents, students, staff and even their headmasters have, but they also generate and answer their own questions. The school’s pulse is sure to shine from their desks.
WHAT YOU DO
For most support staff, they work in the $ 10-20 per hour range. They are often the first lines in our school. And they are often the most exposed people.
Of course, this assumes that they are lucky enough not to be released. When districts across the country make the move to online learning, the support staff are often the first to face the budget crisis and don’t know where their already seasonal work will be in the coming months.
The global COVID-19 pandemic has proven that there have been so many superheroes in the past few months. Support staff are ours at school.
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