Dear School Custodians, Paras, Secretaries, Nurses, Etc. – We’d Be Lost Without You

To All School Custodians, Paras, Secretaries, Nurses, Etc. – We’d Be Lost Without You cover image

Not all heroes wear capes. In fact, when it comes to school heroes, they wear all sorts of outfits. Schools are just lousy with heroes, and many of them exist outside of the classroom. This is a tribute to all of those unsung heroes out there that teachers are always and forever truly thankful for.

1. Secretaries


I realize that on paper, the Principal is technically in charge of the school, but let’s be honest, secretaries are the real keepers of the kingdom. They know the answer to every question, the solution to every problem and where all the bodies are buried. One of the first rules that teachers learn at any school is that you absolutely, 100%, at all costs, become very good friends with your secretary.

2. Cafeteria Workers

Is there an employee in the educational system more overlooked than the cafeteria workers? Without them, teachers would be without our most cherished minutes of the day: Lunch break. Lunch break is a little slice of heaven that teachers cling to for dear life. Meanwhile, those brave slingers of Sloppy Joes have to deal with tables full of kids all at once. And for that, we salute you.

3. Custodians


Whether you’re teaching kindergarten or high school one truth remains constant: children are messy. Thankfully schools employ the mightiest of superheroes. A team of custodians who somehow manage to navigate spills, boogers, vomit, and God knows what else to keep our schools squeaky clean. Wherever there is danger, they will be there. No matter how disastrous our rooms become, these courageous people boldly go where no teacher ever wants to go again.

4. IT workers

Schools have become increasingly reliant on technology. Laptop carts, smart boards, wireless response systems and the like have forced us to become tech-savvy whether we want to or not. As long as everything is in perfect working condition we’re fine, but sooner or later the internet will disappear, or a smart board will suddenly become not-so-smart. That’s when you call your friendly neighborhood IT person and marvel at his ability to get your classroom up and running in no time.

5. Nurses


There is no sickness like small child sickness. As their bodies build up basic immunities they are prone to virtually every virus, fungus, and infection known to mankind. Then they spread it to every other child within a 5-mile radius. That’s when we employ our last line of defense, our guardians against bacteria, our nursing staff. They bravely stand up to every fever, headache and stomach ache and wage war against the germs that none of us want any part of.

6. Bus Drivers

Imagine trying to keep a classful of children calm and in control. Children of all different backgrounds and age groups with varying levels of excitability. Imagine trying to enforce rules of conduct and behavior day in and day out. Now imagine trying to do that while driving a large unwieldy vehicle, remembering the location of 30 different stops you have to make, all while navigating rush hour traffic. We are constantly amazed at how our bus drivers do it.

7. Librarians

Attempting to maintain structure in a school can be like nailing Jell-O to a tree. It doesn’t take long for a well-organized classroom to look like a tornado blew through it. Yet there is the library, always in pristine condition with every book exactly where it should be. And guarding this treasure trove of knowledge are the keepers of order and discipline, our school librarians. No matter which class breezes through those doors, rest assured your librarian will keep them all on the straight and narrow.

8. Paraprofessionals and Specialists of all shapes and sizes


Teachers get a lot of praise for what we do in the classroom, but we’re hardly alone in there. So many of our children need extra help and assistance. That’s when we call in the big guns. Para-professionals are educational do-it-alls. Always willing to pull struggling students aside and give them whatever they need. And if students need more, we turn to our specialists who tirelessly work with our toughest cases to fill their gaps. Learning disabilities, language barriers, developmental issues; no matter the problem, our specialists never stop doing the dirty work to make sure every child gets what they need.


Dear School Custodians, Paras, Secretaries, Nurses, Etc. – We’d Be Lost Without You

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David Rode

Dave is a middle school math teacher. He's also a musician, a community theater, dad to two amazing children, and he doesn't get a lot of sleep.

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