Summer is fading fast and it’s time for the kids to go back to school. While bittersweet the end of summer is welcomed. Just like that our kids leave the lazy days of summer behind and are out of our hair and in the hallways of school. Who is the first point of contact at any school?
Any time we need something, have questions, talk to someone at school, elementary, middle or upper who do we contact?
Who you gonna call?
The school secretary.
Who’s got the experience, knows the rules, where everything is, when everything is, who everyone is? Who’s that girl…
The school secretary.
One of the most important players in your relationship to your child’s school is the secretary. Like the human heart, the school secretary is the critical muscle in the school. She’s the one that keeps everything pumping and moving along. Administratively, the school secretary is the gatekeeper, key holder, nurse and answers to many.
What should we know before sending our kids into the office with a handful of papers, questions, tears, and a bag lunch? Having been a teacher myself I understand the integral role secretaries play for all students, staff and administrators in the building. I have been coached by some solid school secretaries. More than once a school secretary has rescued me, as a student, next as a teacher, and more recently as a parent. The secretaries I have known are nothing short of superheroes, exercising the tasks of finding the correct forms, reminders of important dates, times, names, or handing me a Band-Aid, candy, or a hug all while taking a call with a smile. This week as I prepared to send my son back to school, scattered and overwhelmed, I wondered, “Who would help us get with the program?” As I looked over school forms, permission slips, calendars, a new schedule, new staff, I found myself with questions, worries, and thought about the heart at school, the superhero with the answers, calming tone and gentle reminders. It occurred to me that school secretaries may have a short list of what they’d like families to know.
With that, I set out to talk to a handful. Here were their thoughts when asked:
What five things would the SS (school secretary) like us to know…
- Read the long and boring back to school emails. We know they are too long, but it does help get us all started on the right foot.
- When we ask who you are we are not being rude, reintroduce yourself often. We know your child by heart but can get tripped up with your name.
- DON’T park in the drop off lane.
- A friendly smile from a parent makes a world of difference
- Something at my job makes me laugh out loud at least once a day.
- Please turn all your forms in on time.
- Your kids are capable of responsibility. Homework, uniforms, instruments it’s their job to think and remember those. Consequences will cure their forgetfulness.
- If your student is late, please let us know, they may forget to check in.
- It’s not a good idea to stand near my desk on your phone.
- Do your homework before calling to ask questions, check website, emails, newsletters first.
- Your sons and daughters are figuring themselves out. Let them explore different sports, instruments, and clubs. If they like paring plaid shorts with neon t-shirts, let them. We were all there once.
- Kids understand more than they are given credit.
- Your child may not be a saint. Kids are kids. Sometimes they make stupid choices and that’s okay, because “failure is success.” They learn from mistakes.
- After October 1st, check lost and found often, your children’s coats, boot, books, and mittens are in there.
- Your children are smart, kind, sweet, and funny.
This post is for the hearts at every school, the powerful muscles that guide our children and us through another school year!
Thank you for making re-entry after a lazy summer seamless and for caring for some of the most important people in our lives.