Last week I went with my wife to a staff get together at a restaurant. My wife is a middle school counselor (grades 5-8). She has not been there long and was excited to do something socially with the staff. This was organized by one of the teachers for a fun time before the new school year officially blast off!
Having been in education myself for now 23 years, I was very comfortable around all of them even though I did not know them very well. But it is amazing how similar these people were to the people I work with every day in my school district. They talked (and laughed a lot) about the crazy things their students did last year. They were very curious about any new hires over the summer as well as there was much discussion about changes for the upcoming school year.
At one point during the night, someone brought up the building project and how the new windows were being installed. One person had driven by the school and was showing pictures they had on their phone. Everyone one of them was genuinely excited about these new windows. I listened as they described the size of them and how the shades were embedded within the windows. Others started asking if they had done their particular room yet or were just the offices complete. These windows truly made these people excited.
I am sure windows are not something people would ever think would help a students education but it does. It is the little things such as new windows, or a freshly painted room or even new carpet that can make you feel that little bit better when you walk through the doors ready to face a day. It brings a level of respect as a professional. I know when I look in my own room and see the ripped carpet with cement floor exposed; I surely don’t feel overly appreciated.
Now I understand school funding and the cost of such things. Especially the taxing process of asking the public to give even more than they already do, but it is still important, very important, that everyone remember that little things like new windows can make a BIG difference in the overall picture.