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Unsung Heroes of Schools: Exploring School Support Roles

In schools, support staff plays an integral role in the success of students. Unfortunately, many school support roles go unnoticed.

These roles include: psychological assessments, individualized instructions, monitoring student progress and classroom management. Without these key players, teaching and learning would suffer. So, who are the unsung heroes of your school?

School psychologist

School psychologists are uniquely positioned to play a significant role in school mental health (SMH). Their expertise in psychoeducational assessment and intervention, mental health promotion, and program development is invaluable. They have the potential to contribute significantly in a number of areas including:

Providing direct psychological services for students, parents, and teachers. School psychologists assess a variety of student problems including learning and behavioral challenges, emotional distress, and family dysfunction. They may also assist in crisis situations, such as a suicide or mass shooting.

School psychologists can help boost student achievement by conducting psychological assessments and collaborating with teachers to improve the quality of instruction. For example, if they discover that some students are not understanding classroom lessons at an appropriate speed, the school psychologist can work with the teacher to provide individualized instructions and monitor student progress. They can also provide guidance for implementing RTI procedures and identifying resources to support these initiatives. Click here to download three free Positive Psychology Exercises, a collection of 17 validated tools to enhance wellbeing in education.

Cafeteria worker

School cafeteria workers, affectionately known as lunch ladies, contribute significantly to the operation and maintenance of a school. Their duties range from cooking and serving food to cleaning and stocking supplies. They are responsible for making healthy and enticing meals that comply with government nutrition standards and guidelines.

Their work often involves strict timeframes, which requires a high level of organization and attention to detail. They are also responsible for attending staff meetings and training sessions as needed.

They also need to provide customer service and assist with any problems that may arise. In addition, they must be able to work in a stressful environment with a fast-paced schedule. They can also expect to work overtime during special events and school closures. In addition, they must be able stand for long periods of time and lift heavy items. They are also required to wear personal protective equipment (PPE) to prevent contamination. The PPE includes gloves and an apron.

Janitorial staff

Janitorial staff contribute significantly to the operation and maintenance of a school. Their duties include sweeping, mopping and vacuuming floors; cleaning surfaces, including windows and furniture; dusting and wiping surfaces; trash removal; and managing an inventory of cleaning supplies. They may also be responsible for performing minor repairs to different fixtures and equipment.

They may also be required to operate and maintain equipment such as floor scrubbers and pressure washers. Additionally, they may need to travel between different facilities in order to complete their work. They are also responsible for ensuring that they follow all school policies and procedures regarding safety and security.

School administrators can help to lighten the workload for janitorial and cleaning staff by hiring an outside company to accomplish deep cleaning and sanitization during off-hours. Additionally, they can help to recognize the efforts of janitorial and cleaning staff by giving them small tokens of appreciation like touchless paper dispensers (like Cascades PRO Tandem) or treats.

IT support

New technology is helping create engaging and exciting learning opportunities, but it also presents a unique set of challenges and risks. Software glitches, hardware problems, connectivity limitations and cyber security breaches all threaten the educational process. In addition, many schools have to manage a complex IT infrastructure, with data that is often sensitive and confidential.

To address these challenges, schools have had to create support roles that help teachers and students use innovative technologies. These roles can be filled by specialized tech support professionals or by teacher aides who are willing to take on extra duties.

The technology-support role contributes significantly to the operation and maintenance of a school. A few indicators of its success include the existence of district help desks, a workable ratio between technical support personnel and end users or computers, and a system for recording maintenance incidents. In addition, a preventive-maintenance checklist must be available for end users and appropriate repair instruments must be readily available on school premises.