6. School counselors – she or he is the person students go to see about schedule changes, drama with friends, or serious issues at home. They manage classroom schedules and help balance the number of students in a class when necessary. Some manage the logistics of standardized testing and also act as liaisons during parent meetings. They have also been know to have steady supplies of chocolate and/or kleenex as needed. They listen with their hearts and hear what you don’t say. We are blessed with two lovely ladies who beautifully fill this capacity.
7. The librarian is an amazing woman to ask about research, information, etc. She also has the laminator in her possession. The laminator helps class sets of manipulatives like cooperative learning labels and signs stay alive after student handling. When you want certain subjects or genres of books or to make sure your students are citing their sources appropriately, she is the one to know. Our librarian has student aides to help her during the day. Since I am an English language arts teacher, she is one of my best resources. She knows every student in the building because they all have to check out a book to do a book report at some time. She knows about GoogleDocs, Moodle, and Schoology because she is super tech-savvy!
8. The technology facilitator/guru keeps the machines happy; if the machines are happy, then the teachers are happy. This person often knows of web resources and new ways to integrate Web 2.0 into your classroom. They don’t service iPads or Android devices, but they do keep batteries for recalcitrant projector remotes and fresh mice for computers. Ours also delivers the mobile laptops to our classrooms so that we can provide Internet access for all students in our classes for particular projects and activities. She takes care of the copier. All staffers develop a love-hate relationship with the copier. It seems to like working beautifully on Thursday afternoons, but on Monday when you realize you need 150 tests as soon as possible, it has a distinct aversion to physical labor. Nefarious gremlins cause this, so you must speak gently saying, “Nice machine. Good machine.” as you lovingly pat the document feeder. Our tech guru advises me against any manner of brutality I may dream up for that copier. She is a wise woman, indeed.
9. The receptionist determines the first impression of your school when visitors and parents come in. She has the sweetest voice you’ll ever hear on the phone. She is a jill-of-all-trades and a multi-tasker. She has office aides who deliver notes, missing gym clothes, or misplaced lunches to students. I like to answer her calls to my room with some crazy remark like “Domino’s Pizza? Great! I’d like a large pepperoni with extra cheese.” My students and our receptionist laugh at my humor. I even jokingly refuse to send the student she needs to the office in hopes that she’ll let me have a piece of chocolate she keeps stashed somewhere. Sometimes my little ploy works, and my students are happy because I’ve had my chocolate, and now I’m happy, too.
As I go along, if I realize that I have overlooked someone, I will share insights about that particular person. Until later!