by Peg Pellerin
There are times when some folks wear too many hats and usually it’s not because they want to but because they are so good at what they do that they’re handed yet another hat to wear. Those handing over those hats forget that they can give someone many hats to wear but the individual has only one head.
There is no better example of this than in a school during the COVID-19 pandemic. I happen to be working in a hybrid school system where we have Cohort 1 and Cohort 2 days that alternate. Our teachers must make up lessons for both Cohorts as well as work for home on the days the students are not in school….plus homework for the days they are in school. We’re in week four of the school year and some parents as well as their children still haven’t figured out what they need to do even though everything is written out for them….plus the fact that the teacher(s) email, text and make phone calls, while they are preparing for the next set.
You know that part of getting an extra hat to wear because you’re good at what you do, well a teacher I work with was given an extra hat, today, to conduct a training in the near future on a Monday afternoon. She still has all her hair except for a few patches. Now I know what was between her fingers.
Another hat is remote teaching while also doing in-building teaching. No they aren’t done at the same time but at different times. More on this later.
Teachers also have duties such as conducting students coming from buses and parent drop offs to the designated areas (breakfast or classrooms), recess, hall monitoring, lunch, dismissal dividing the students for buses and parent pickups. Because of the pandemic, these have to be conducted at different entrances in the morning and exits in the afternoon in order to keep students social distancing.
Those teachers who are lucky enough to have an Ed. Tech. get a little help by having them assist with copying, putting learning packets together, laminating, assisting teachers while they are remote teaching by working with the in-building students or we put the extra hat and do the remote teaching after the teacher has given us the curriculum we are to perform with the students remaining home. Oh, yes, we also have the same duties as the teachers….plus, we check on teachers in our pods/wings to see if they need a BR break. When I see a teacher doing a little dance while teaching in front of the classroom, I know she is not entertaining the students. I get a “thank you so much” as she steps out of the room for a couple of minutes.
Teachers and Ed. Techs are not the only ones who wear several hats. The vice principal wore a custodial hat a couple of weeks ago and continues to do so whenever a custodian is out for the day/evening. There is so much that is asked of the custodians in a normal situation but now they must also sanitize every desk, chair, cafeteria tables, door knobs, railings, and anything else that someone’s hands may lay on. So, when one of the custodians is out for some reason or another, the vice principal steps in and helps the other custodians to complete this task along with other custodial services.
Both of our principal and vice principal also make several rounds per day, checking on the hand sanitizing stations to make sure they are full and if the custodian can’t get to it in a timely manner because they are too busy doing other building maintenance, they fill the stations up for them.
I’m sure I must be forgetting some type of hat worn by someone or someones within the building but I can tell you they don’t stop, barely have a chance to get a breather and put their students ahead of themselves. I don’t have to look at comic books, graphic novels or movies to see heroes, I see them every day at school.
Submitted by Debbie Walker