There is research that demonstrates the connection between the physical condition of a school and student attendance and grades. In his book “Savage Inequalities”, Jonathan Kozol describes schools where the blackboards were so badly cracked that teachers were afraid to let students write on them for fear they would cut themselves. He draws attention to the waterfall that courses down six flights of stairs during a heavy rain, or the music room where students position their chairs where ceiling tiles are least likely to fall. For this reason, it is logical to connect school maintenance issues to school funding. In so many cases it seems that without money things can’t get done. However, in my school there is one person who ensures that regardless of funding our school remains in excellent condition: our building manager (commonly known as the custodian).
Many of us can remember the famous adage from Ghostbusters — Who you gonna call? In my school, the call is most often made to the building manager. Between cleaning up messes in the cafeteria, supporting stopped up drains in the restrooms, or cleaning up classroom “incidents” our building manager seems to be on the move throughout the entire school day. I know that our staff appreciates all that he does; however, this is my way of thanking him. Have you thanked your building manager lately?