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Your Support Team

By now you have discovered that more than just teachers work for the school district. A bus driver brings the children to school, a custodian maintains the building, the secretary works in the office and assistants are in the library and classrooms. You will benefit from getting to know these people.

Any experienced teacher can tell you there are three special people who are a must to know in the school building. They are the head custodian, head secretary, and the cafeteria manager. They can make your life much easier if you communicate to them what you need.

The secretaries are your lifeline to the outside world. They will help you with all paperwork needed for the district office files as well as the school files. They will know where you can find supplies, people, and help. Schools have been known to go for days without a principal, but as soon as the secretary is out one day, chaos reigns.

The custodians can assist you in many ways as well. They can usually be counted on to help in setting up your room and in securing extra shelves, cabinets, or desks. They are a good source for cleaning supplies, also. However, remember that supplies in a custodian closet are his/her work tools so don't take them without asking. Always remember to put them back when finished.

Cafeteria workers will provide you many nutritional lunches, but they can also assist you with tips about how to bring your students to the cafeteria. Always try to stay on schedule because the workers in the cafeteria are trying to feed hundreds of students in a very short period of time. Become friends here and you can always depend on an extra cup of coffee or tea.

Most schools have several educational assistants, also called instructional assistants, or paraprofessionals. They may assist teachers in the classroom, supervise students on the playground or the cafeteria, or they may assist in the library or main office. More and more, many paraprofessionals are working with special education students reinforcing skills, tutoring, and even feeding them.

Remember that we are part of the education family. Most school employees could earn more money in the business field but choose to work for and with children. Education is more than classroom deep. Establishing a good relationship with the people around you can help you become a better, more effective teacher.