As I sat in the SUV waiting for Ron one day last week, looking out at the parking lot of a school maintenance facility, I saw all kinds of vehicles. Big trucks, school buses, tow trucks, pickups, dump trucks, panel trucks, sedans with the system logo on the door, and many for which I don’t know the names.
I began thinking of all my teacher friends. At Christmas and the end of the school year, parents often give gifts to their their child’s teachers to thank them for what they do. For many, teachers are the face of the education system. Teachers work hard every day to educate young minds and to help children to grow mentally, academically, emotionally, socially, and physically. It is a job that is usually underpaid and underappreciated.
And while I have respect for my many teacher friends, I couldn’t help but wonder:
How many of us recognize what goes on in the background of a school system?
In every school, there are crews of men and women who empty the trash dumpster, clean the floors, mow the lawn, repair broken lights, unclog sinks and toilets, replace worn out air conditioners, and so much more!
Who keeps the computer system functioning? Or the electrical system? Or the steam or water systems?
Who makes sure each child is picked up by the right bus? Who maintains the buses? Fills them with fuel? Cleans them?
Who orders the food for the cafeteria? Or the toilet paper, paper towels, light bulbs, and copy paper? Who orders the cleaning supplies or spare parts needed by those who do all the repairs and maintenance?
Who works through the night when the heater is broken so the children can be warm the next day? Or digs up the sewer so the school bathrooms keep functioning after a break in the pipes? Or stays up until two in the morning working on air conditioners so the children don’t overheat when the temperatures reach above 100 outside?
Who replaces the roof, the worn out floor, or the broken window?
Who fixes the squeaky doors, broken desks, stuck drawers, or paints the hallways?
The next time you take your child to school, be it a public or private school, perhaps you could take time to thank the bus driver or one of the folks who work in the background, the maintenance crew, or office staff.
Maybe you could pray for them as well.
You see, I believe we can have an impact on our country by doing little things like thanking people for a job well done and praying for them.
I am sure that griping and complaining won’t help. At least, it hasn’t so far.