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Your Nine Secret Favorite Coworkers

With the busy-ness of the school year, we as educators often forget to celebrate our work. Sure, we might periodically “lift up” best practice at a staff meeting, or have a momentary chance to share a lesson that went particularly well. But we don’t always celebrate the small things. Today, Education World takes a moment to honor the “real MVPs” in the school building that make a difficult job or a stressful day oh-so-much the better. They are the quiet heroes of the day.

 

The staff member that brings in food to share in the faculty room.

Image courtesy of Sony Pictures Television.

Whether it’s after a holiday or simply out of good will, somehow, these treats always appear at the perfect time. From muffins to cake to cookies to chocolate, they can turn a 4-minute passing time into a much-needed energy boost. We don’t always know where it all comes from, but please: keep doing your thing.

 

The one who makes jokes at staff meetings.

Image courtesy of DreamWorks Pictures.

Perhaps not always an administrator’s favorite, but you know the same kid that did this in high school turned into the adult that does it now. Sometimes our job feels so incredibly heavy, but with the right timing, these quick quips can lighten the mood and remind us all that we are just humans, doing a very complicated job. Our work is serious, but we need to be able to laugh, too.

 

Anyone who has ever brought your photocopies to you.

Image courtesy of Warner Bros. Television Distribution.

It’s such a simple gesture. And completely unnecessary.; But sometimes in the hurricane that is our day, that little moment of kindness can feel like a ray of sunshine, if not a time saver. You’re setting up your projector, rearranging your seats form the last class period, getting your computer set up, and boom: there are your copies, ready to go.

 

The lunch staff that hooks you up.

Image courtesy of Paramount Television.

Few coworkers garner more love and appreciation. It might be something left over from a school event, or perhaps that perfectly over-baked corner piece of lasagna. But every once in a while, with a wink and a knowing smile, the lunch staff will grant you a culinary blessing. It’s magical.

 

The veteran teacher that says “no”.

Image courtesy of 20th Television.

This one can be divisive. Obviously, the teacher that always says “no” makes for a challenging work environment. But in the current environment of overworked educators meeting the needs of financially struggling school districts, the one teacher with the clout and history within the institution who is brave enough to push back a little can be a relief to the rest of us. Thank you for having our backs.

 

The “just checking in” staff.

Image courtesy of 20th Television.

We don’t do this enough. But the one or two teachers who are not only thoughtful enough to ask how we’re doing, but then take the time to actually listen afterwards…It’s a rare gift. And it makes us feel like a part of a community. Like we’re not alone.

 

The coffee pusher.

Image courtesy of United Artists.

This person has their priorities straight. Whether they’re the one staff member who always brews the new pot or the crazy one who takes the time to take orders for a Dunkin' Donuts run, the coffee pusher keeps us from fading away. Truth be told, they might want to take it easy on the bean. But we don’t judge.

 

The early bird.

Image courtesy of Focus Features.

Every school has that group of oddball teachers who get to the school wayyyy too early. They turn on the lights, unlock the doors, get the copier warmed up, and set the stage for the day. The rest of us sort of tumble into it all. We don’t quite understand why these folks need to be up at 4 in the morning to prep for an 8 o’clock class, but we appreciate what they do for us up front.

 

The rockstar office staffer.

Image courtesy of NBCUniversal Television Distribution.

This is the one person in the office that will make sure your supplies are ordered on time. They will make the phone calls for you, send out the invites, schedule the meetings, update the data system, find the document you’re looking for, and get you the info you need, and act like it took nothing to do so. There’s no way with the number of staff members there are in the building, plus your regular daily responsibilities, that that all “took nothing”. We all think you’re from a different planet altogether.

 

Written by Keith Lambert, Education World Associate Contributing Editor

Lambert is an English / Language Arts teacher in Connecticut.