Friday, June 26, 2015

Credit Falls To More Than Just Teachers

(Some handprints from G's Kindergarten class. Hers is the green one.)

It's the end of the school year. Honestly, it's hard to believe Kindergarten is over. Alright, I can believe it, but maybe I don't want to accept it. I logged 40+ volunteer hours at G's school mostly in the library. Placing my presence inside the school allowed me to see many of the people that make our children's education possible, and I will tell you it's not just the teachers. Yes, my child's wonderful teacher had the biggest impact on her kindergarten success (duh!), but each day I took her to school I noticed the variety of staff members who make each day's routine possible.

As we drove to school in the morning, Mrs. J, the crossing guard, was always at an intersection near the school. No matter the weather, she risked her life multiple times per day, wearing her bright orange vest and flag, warning drivers to stop for schoolchildren. It's a 20 MPH zone which drivers aren't always mindful of (if that happens to be you, pay attention!). While we don't walk to school, we waved at Mrs. J as we go past just to acknowledge her.

Recently, G began riding the bus home. I trust Ms. Bus Driver to safely deposit my child at the designated stop each afternoon. Think about it. That's a pretty important responsibility. The school releases our kids to one person who also has to drive and operate an incredibly large vehicle full of (I'm guessing) rowdy kids anticipating their arrival home.

As I mentioned, I volunteer in the library. I love books and reading and spent many summer afternoons at my own public library. Mrs. L, the school librarian, didn't have as many parent volunteers like the classroom teacher did. I also didn't realize that library is now a graded class taught by a certified teacher. She works well over the 40 hour work week (probably as most teachers do). Volunteering my time for her mostly consisted of wiping down germy books before organizing and returning them to the shelves. A cartload of books easily took an hour or more to put away. It's not difficult, but it's time consuming. Mrs. L expressed her gratitude each and every day I was there. I was touched that my seemingly minimal efforts greatly eased her duties.

For an end of the year appreciation, I brought these staff members a simple thank you gift with a personalize note thanking them for their services. I didn't want them to be overlooked. The way I see it, every job is important for the successful function of our school. And in case you're wondering, no, I didn't forget about her classroom teacher either. The dedication of our educators blows me away. I'm excited to see what the next school year brings!

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