Friday, 1 December 2017

It Takes a Village

Over 25 years in and I've noticed something: people matter!  Yes children matter but people matter too!  I am talking about those people who make a school run smoothly.  These are the unsung heroes:  custodians, secretaries, educational assistants, librarians, early childhood education workers,volunteers and parents.  We often think of favourite teachers, favourite principals and vice-principals. I've learned to stop to thank the people who build that village from the ground up.

Today, I was pleasantly surprised to see that my calendar had been turned to the new month.  Then I thought, that has happened every month since I started my new position.  The evening custodian does this.  I thanked him.  He was over the moon because I figured out who the calendar fairy was.

Then there's the secretary.  She or he often have the answers that the principal doesn't.  They know how to make injuries less hurtful, answer phones respectfully, take in mail, distribute it accordingly, rarely have time for a break and manage to carry on a smile throughout the day.

Support staff for students amaze me.  Some are assigned to small numbers of children throughout the day.  They accompany them on recess breaks, support their social and emotional needs, help them thrive when things are rough and advocate wholeheartedly for children in their care.

It doesn't stop there.  The librarian is a wealth of knowledge.  Knowing where every resource is, how to use it and who to recommend it to is no easy feat.  Then, there's the read aloud.  Have you ever heard a more beautiful rendition of a story?  There is one librarian I know who gets into full character portrayals and even brings in props.  Imagine typewriters, telescopes and musical instruments.  The books come alive!

Lastly, parents and volunteers are the icing on the cake.  They bring that village to life with countless hours, costume making, prop building, reading, homework helping and community building.  It does take a village.

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