Sunday, August 27, 2017

Kim Frencken: What does it take to run a school?

A school is not just a building. It is a community within a community. A finely tuned machine. A home away from home. A place of nurturing and growth. A nursery of learning. I could go on and on, but you get the point. Schools are not just teachers and kids, although kids are definitely the heartbeat! Schools involve custodians, cooks, bus drivers, special service providers, counselors, volunteers, administrators, substitutes, parents, and many others dedicated to helping children.

Take one out of the equation and you are unbalanced. The ride can get rough. Someone else has to pick up the slack. It is easy to get wrapped up in your own little world and forget about the teacher down the hall or the person who cleans your room after you turn off the lights. It is easy to take for granted the cookies sitting in the teacher's workroom or the encouraging email that you received. That is until they are gone. Then you feel their absence. Some more keenly than others.

If you've worked in a district that had cutbacks you are familiar with extra duties. Emptying your trash, cleaning your boards, wiping down cafeteria tables. Or, taking your Friday night to take tickets at a game or pass out programs at a musical event. And the entire time you were probably thinking about all the things you could and needed to be doing to get your room ready instead of helping in some other area.

Do we take time to consider what responsibilities others have? I know that I can get impatient when some things are not done when I think they should be done, or an email is not responded to as quickly as I would like. I have to take a step back and realize that there are more pressing issues or other responsibilities that take precedence over mine. This is a good time to have a humbling reality check. A good time to ask myself if I am appreciating those people that work in my world. Am I respecting their duties? Do I think mine are more important?

Truth is, no one person is more important than another. We are all needed to keep things running smoothly. Teamwork. It takes every one of us to pull off this thing called 'school'.

(Check out Kim Frencken's blog, Chocolate for the Teacher for more of her writing and information about her products for teachers.)

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

You asked- " Am I appreciating those people That work in my wold?" As a community, I would say we have to give a loud no. No, we do not appreciate what school employees go through. SW MO votes people into office that seek to cut pay and benefits for all those you mentioned. In fact, the Joplin teachers now have resorted to a union to represent their interests. I assume the local voters support the likes of B DeVoss, the Education Secretary that has an agenda to take even more money out of public education. Meanwhile, her brother Eric Prince is helping fund these efforts with the billions he makes through his former Black Water (now Academi) corporation. His anti-government beliefs do not stop him from taking huge amounts of cash from our government and funding the people that seek to destroy those you have mentioned. This is going to be a rough transformation as that agenda is filled. I wonder how many teachers still vote for the people that want to defund the public school systems?