Schools are full of superheroes! Each of those heroes has its own superpowers. Teachers, co-teachers, paraprofessionals, principals are all there to make sure your child succeeds. They are amazing and give their all for your babies. We sing their praises quite often, but what about the other heroes who keep your schools running smoothly? We want to shout out to them too! I want to tell you about 3 people to connect with as soon as you are part of a school family. I speak from a teacher's heart, a parent's heart, and now from Pickup's heart. Pickup wouldn't exist if it weren't for these people making sure schools run amazing and your babies are safe!
Schools have great leadership, but if you want to know who makes sure that schools run fabulously, meet the secretary. The secretary is the face of your school, and most of them have a giant smile on their face as you walk into the building. They make sure that notes are passed to teachers, they make sure your babies get their meds on time, they answer the bazillion phone calls, and they do the other crazy things that must be done through the school. I have met very few people who work as hard as a school secretary. They work so hard and it is important that they have your support and that you connect with them as much as possible. Next time you walk into your school building, say an encouraging word and boost your school's secretary up!
If you are a teacher in a school building, this should be one of the first people you reach out to. They are the ones who help you to re-arrange your classroom, bring you supplies, and keep everything looking nice and clean. I have worked in 3 different schools. In my first year of teaching, nobody told me to connect with our custodians, and my first year would have gone so much more smoothly if I had just connected with them. I was a science teacher, so I was getting my students' hands dirty.... along with my classroom. I learned over that first year how much I would depend on our custodians to help. That was such a valuable lesson for me. The next school building I worked in was over 60 years old. One of the first things I did was reach out to our team of custodians, and I am so glad I did. I saw how amazing our team was because regardless of the age of the school, that place shined with cleanliness. You could see the pride that team took - Here's to you, Mr. Jones and team, you ROCK! At the last school I worked at, I was the technology person. This means I had to move all tech, clean all tech, and make sure each classroom was set up for success. I could have never done it without our custodian. Mr. Tony helped me with a smile on his face and always made sure that each classroom was taken care of. Thanks for all you did for us!
Do you know how much work a school counselor does? It's amazing that they can get all of their lessons done, small groups met, put fires out, and on top of all of that, be there for every student and family in that school. As a teacher, I befriended the counselors very easily. At first, I did this as an advocate for my students; however, I eventually saw the benefit of having them as friends myself. I learned so much from them that benefited my students. I learned empathy, I learned how to help families in the community, and I learned how to just listen. These are valuable lessons for anyone! When I became a parent to a school-aged student, I quickly connected with the counselor at his school. My son has ADHD and anxiety, and it was evident that he needed the extra resource of the counselor. I am so glad I reached out as a parent to advocate for my own son. Every single school counselor that I have worked with has been amazing and I am so grateful for their impact on my life.
I am going to take a minute to give a shout-out to the counselor who really got the ball rolling for Pickup. Mrs. Carter and I worked very closely together. We did digital citizenship lessons together, we did testing prep using meditations and technology together, and you would often find me just working in her room because I enjoyed her company so much. One day, she came to the gym while I was in the middle of dismissal. At the time, we gathered all of our car riders in the gym and had a megaphone that we called out numbers when cars with hangtags arrived. It was a stressful time of day for me, leaving me with a sense of anxiety almost every single day. Mrs. Carter approached me and asked where Zoey was. I looked around and said that I think I called her to leave already. Then she looked at me and asked, "Who did she go home with?" I paused because I was unsure. I just remember calling her number, but I don't remember who was driving the car. That was a very scary moment for me. I never wanted to feel that anxiety again. It was that night that I reached out to a development team.
I think I should always know exactly who my babies were going home with. With Pickup, it makes dismissal run smoothly and efficiently for the entire school community. It has a timestamp that tells who picked up each student and when. I am so grateful that if Mrs. Carter asked me that again, I could tell you quickly with confidence with Pickup.