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The #1 ...... (friend at school)

Number One Not your ordinary endless list of half witicism - just what's number 1.

The janitor. Better still, the head janitor.

I kid you not. It's the most important secret out there and I've just let the cat out of the bag.

The janitor knows everyone and knows everything! Need a new desk, poof! Need some extra heat? Poof! Need a shoulder to lean on and who won't go blabbering to everyone else (because who cares about the janitor or gives him the time of day?)....

There is simply no better friend at school than the janitor. You'll remember my words when you've lost your keys or need a strong/neutral arm to grab that uncontrollable kid. Janitors are a teacher's best friend. But don't tell everyone at your school!

Views: 34

Comment by George Swen on December 6, 2009 at 6:06pm
And a number one enemy for the pupils! You are late - poof! He locks the door under your nose! You want to spend some quiet time in seclusion - poof - he pulls your ears and returns you back to your class! You are rushing for lunch and he starts yelling ca'canny, ca'canny!!
We were always so afraid of him! And now I am learning that on the top of it he was in cahoots with teachers... (fortunately only with some of them..., unfortunately with the foxy ones ;-))

Supporter
Comment by Ellen Pham on December 6, 2009 at 10:00pm
This is a post I made almost 2 years ago on fireside:

The Custodian's Closet

I think Fireside Learning needs a place to lighten up, to play, to say things without reflection when the spirit so speaks. I thought about calling it the Teacher's Lounge, but then I realized that for me that place has been the Custodian's Closet, or so it is euphemistically referred to (it is usually a big old room!) In honor of the gentle people that have cleaned up after my interminable messes and still offered me their friendship, this discussion is so named. Please leave classism at the door.

To start us off, I lifted this video from the swingin' people over at EFL. Relax & enjoy!

Ok, the video didn't magically appear just because I added the address, so I will have to link it for the moment. Here goes!

Happy Dance

(Never mind, just scroll down to Kevin's post)

-----------------------------------

I didn't know how to post a video : )

David, you forgot, or perhaps did not know (or where not brave enough to find out - they can be extraordinarily cranky) the cook. Get on her good side (usually in the form of being genuinely appreciative of her efforts) and you have a formidable friend. "You can always come hide in my kitchen, Ellen" (abusive administrator story...sigh) No one, not even, as I referred to him, Satan spawn, crossed over into her kitchen without permission : )

Oh George, you got a mean one! Poor guy... maybe there is a wonderful custodian in your future : )
Comment by Headrick von Pizza Head on December 7, 2009 at 12:16am
I remember they had a program on TV about a school in the states where the Janitors union was really strong. The janitors made more money than the Teachers. They visted the schools and they were complete pig sty's

Supporter
Comment by Ellen Pham on December 7, 2009 at 1:35am
That's not going to make you any custodian friends, Headrick!

A long time custodian could, under the old system in our district*, make more than a beginning teacher. The schools I worked in then were always very well maintained. My room was always cleaned so nicely, and I didn't deserve it, I am... messy :)

In 2002, in a response to drastic budget cuts, ALL the custodians in the district were laid off (jobs eliminated) and the work was outsourced to a for-profit company that paid minimum wage to developmentally disabled people... and the custodians were unionized! That's when the schools got dirty.

Last year the case finally finished making its way through the courts, and the district had to hire back any custodian that still wanted the job. This year the custodian's union staved off a 30% proposed wage cut. It's only a family wage job with humane benefits. Is that too much to expect?

A custodian doesn't simply clean up (though someone has to do that too- teachers, perhaps?) S/he understands and maintains the heating and electrical systems, and acts as de facto security for the school. S/he maintains the health and beauty of the school, and by extension the health of the students and faculty that work there.

They maintain the grounds, paint classrooms during the summer, fix anything teachers or students break, and climb through the heating vents to find that dead hamster that escaped from its cage and is now, in its demise, is stinking up the school. I could go on : )

Also, they work year round. Compared to a teacher's hourly rate, their wages are lower.

Supporter
Comment by ddeubel on December 7, 2009 at 2:58am
George - agreed, it works both ways! But not easy to rule such a large fiefdom full of mischievious (read - curious) children.

Ellen, - never thought of the cook! I guess I was always so content with the staff room. As a bachelor, I never had to bring a lunch or even prepare supper. I'd just dig in and take home from the banquet which was always on the middle of the table in the staff room!

Your point about janitors being underpaid and undervalued is taken. I really appreciated my janitors and it paid off. Many I counted as friends and would share my morning coffee with or just some debriefing/destressing time after school. The perfect soundboards!

Supporter
Comment by Ellen Pham on December 7, 2009 at 3:10am
Ellen, - never thought of the cook! I guess I was always so content with the staff room. As a bachelor, I never had to bring a lunch or even prepare supper. I'd just dig in and take home from the banquet which was always on the middle of the table in the staff room!


OMG, life is so unfair!

Assuming the staff room food was brought in by the female teachers... if a woman had tried that on a regular basis (taking food without bringing food in), she would have been despised. Other women would have stopped bringing in food, no kidding!

If the cook was supplying the goodies... shame on you for not noticing where your sustenance was coming from!

David, this discussion has been such a shock... : )

OMG.

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