Letter to the Editor: The School Employee with Low Expectations

Los Alamos

Let me tell you about a woman I know.  She walks through the door each morning and her heart immediately fills the whole room. She smiles, hugs crying children, and runs copy after copy.  When an emergency arrives, she takes over any lesson and executes it so well I fear for my job security. 

She works outside of school hours, coming up with project ideas. She spends some of the little money she has to buy gifts for the students on holidays. The kids love her like an aunt, and run to her when she enters the room.

She adds so much to the life of everybody she touches that there’s really no way to repay her. The problem is, nobody seems to be trying to repay her. The number at the top of her check reads $400. She’s paid every two weeks.   

In education, things are tight. Money is thin. Our district faces the difficult decision of where to spend money when budgets are small and everybody wants a bigger cut. Let’s start by giving more to instructional assistants. Our schools have lost several fantastic individuals to higher paying jobs in daycare, clerical work, and cleaning. The dozens who remain in our district give everything and expect nothing. It’s high time we start exceeding those expectations.