Who Helps a School Run Well? Part Two: The Administrative Assistants

I want to give a big thanks to anyone who works as a school secretary, or administrative assistant as they are often referred to as today. Another thankless job that help make schools run well. Yesterday, I wrote of my appreciation of school maintenance workers, today it is those wonderful school secretaries!

School secretaries not only act as a liaison between the principal and people such as parents, students and other staff members, but they are often bogged down with more work than you can imagine.

Administrative assistants do the books, crunch the numbers, collect the money, mail out anything that needs to be sent to parents and various other articles of mail, answer the phones and interact with visitors. Not only do they do these tasks daily, all day, they often times also act as a disciplinarian.

How, you wonder, could a school secretary possibly be involved with discipline? Simple. Where are most kids sent when they misbehave in school? The principal’s office, of course! Who is usually seated outside of the principal’s office doing his or her job? The secretary! Therefore, who is often the first one to communicate with a student who is in trouble: The school secretary.

Often times, children are sent to the principal’s office and the principal isn’t available right at that moment to talk to or hand down a punishment. It is often the administrative assistant who must watch the student in trouble, keep him in his chair and make sure he is sitting quietly while waiting. So, on top of every other job these secretaries do, they must also keep unruly kids in line until the principal is available.

Let me tell you, I have seen first hand how difficult it is to do all of those things. Being a school secretary isn’t what it used to be. The next time you see a school being run like a well-oiled machine, chances are there is a great school secretary behind it. Give her or him your thanks, will you?