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The Unsung Heroes and Why You MUST Befriend Them

It’s easy to underestimate the power of one person’s influence. As teachers, we are influencers in the classroom, in the halls and in private conversations we have with students and colleagues, yet who influences our day to day life in school?


No matter the circumstances around us on any given day, the school experience would not run smoothly if it weren’t for certain people in the building.  These are the colleagues that we tend to forget or ignore while walking down the hall.  They are the ones we immediately run to when we need something done quickly or if we need a favor, yet when things are running smoothly they are forgotten.

These are the unsung heroes in our schools and we need to make an effort to befriend them and thank them for all they do daily.

A Teacher’s Three “Must Have” Friends In School

1. The Custodian

Every single day we come into an environment that is designed for learning.  One of the most important parts of that environment is the cleanliness of it as a whole.  Can you imagine if students showed up to school and the hallways were unswept for days, the bathrooms were a mess, and the classrooms had garbage cans overflowing onto the floors?  Not only would this take away from the learning, but also the overall health of our students!

What about the emergencies that happen outside our classroom walls, or in some cases inside them?  Whether it is something small like a locker that is jammed or something large like a fire in the building, our custodians are the ones on the front lines making sure things are under control.   

Why is it essential to befriend the custodian?

  ♦ They are colleagues equal to any other in the building and deserve the respect they have earned as your peer.

  ♦ They are usually responsible for delivering supplies, fixing certain issues in the classroom, and much more.  When you need them they will be there if you return the favor and treat them as equals.

  ♦ They work long hours setting up for various school events, whether that be concerts, lunchtime, or just about anything you may need as a school.  They seek no credit for doing such tasks.  This deserves your appreciation and attention.

[shareable cite=”Michael Hyatt”]It’s easy to underestimate the power of one person’s influence.[/shareable]

2. Office Staff/Secretaries

It is in the details that any organization will succeed.  In a school the secretaries and the office staff are a crucial component to any school’s success.  Why then do we as teachers so often overlook them as peers?

I am not accusing any of us of actually intentionally doing this, but why not take the time to talk to the secretaries from and get to know them.  Try to understand what their struggles are from day to day, and offer a helping hand when possible.  They are responsible for making sure the students are all accounted for and safe, the paperwork is properly in order for the school, the parents are held at bay, and much, much more!  Our lives as teachers run a lot smoother thanks to the work of our amazing office staff.

Why it is essential to befriend the office staff

 ♦ They can make your life wonderful and easy OR they can make your life very difficult.  The choice is really up to you and how well you demonstrate the respect they deserve. 

 ♦ The jobs in the office, although different than a teachers’, are equally important when it comes to running a school properly.  Without them on your side, it can be very difficult to do your job in the classroom

  ♦ They are colleagues equal to any other in the building and deserve the respect they have earned as your peer as well.

[shareable cite=”Chuck Poole”]It is in the details that any organization will succeed.[/shareable]

3.The Lunch Staff

Imagine life without lunch!  I shutter at the thought.  Our students are served lunch every single day in a very short amount of time, and in an orderly, well thought out manner.  Lunches are prepared early in the morning for the day ahead, students without lunches are taken care of, and tables, chairs, as well as the cafeteria itself is disinfected every single day.

This is no small job, and if it wasn’t for our lunch staff I could not imagine what the school would be like.  That’s not all they do however.  Lunches for field trips, special band trips, or school events that take place during the day are all taken care of by this staff.   In many cases we do not see everything that goes on behind the scenes but it is a job that deserves respect by everyone in the building.

Why it is essential to befriend the Lunch Staff.

  ♦ The lunch staff are the people responsible for making sure students are energized, through nutrition, so that they can learn throughout the day as a whole.

  ♦ They are the people who you go to when you are hungry or need something to eat.  Treat them well and they will return the favor. 

  ♦ Just as the other two, they are colleagues equal to any other in the building and deserve the respect they have earned as your peer.

[shareable cite=”Chuck Poole”]Treat people well and they will return the favor.[/shareable]

Challenge: Find one of these “Unsung Heroes” and give them a note of encouragement today!

Question: What other “Unsung Heroes” do we have at our schools? Leave a comment by clicking here.

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