Does my school have the worst

Discussion in 'General Education' started by pwhatley, Aug 7, 2012.

  1. pwhatley

    pwhatley Maven

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    custodians? Here is just a bit of what we have dealt with in the past year:
    Our "head" custodian had a stroke. He's back, but much, much slower (and I think he takes advantage of our sympathy for him.

    Our district superintendent laid off all but one of the afternoon "sweepers" (part-time room cleaners), leaving one sweeper and our "assistant" custodian after 2pm.

    The following things have occurred after 2pm or after school hours:
    • I have had my iPhone disappear from my teacher table, then mysteriously show up behind my student computers two days later (and yes, I tore my room apart looking for it to no avail.
    • Not one, but 2 digital cameras "disappeared" from my room (about $600 worth of cameras), and 3 more went missing from other classrooms.
    • School laptops that were equipped with locks, locked to the laptop table, in a locked classroom, disappeared between one day and the next morning - the steel cables were cut.
    • Someone was watching porn in our library (on the Smartboard screen) at 7pm.
    • The Friday before Thanksgiving break, I let my kiddos watch "How to Train Your Dragon," and left the DVD in my teacher computer. Imagine my surprise when I returned a week later to discover that my G rated DVD had mysteriously changed to an Austin Powers movie! (I hate Austin Powers, by the way)
    • Two summers in a row, my floor was waxed without being cleaned first - they just waxed over tape, dirt, even cake crumbs last year
    • This summer, my floor wasn't done at all
    • This is my fourth year at the same school. My a/c filter has been changed once - when I specifically asked about it a year ago. I have requested it (in writing) twice now - and it has not been done. Last year, the a/c (same kind) at another school caught fire because the filter was so filthy!
    • I am the only person who ever dusts or cleans student desks, windows, blinds, shelves, anything
    • Half the time, instead of removing the trash bag when emptying our trash cans, the evening custodian simply empties the trash, leaving the old (sometimes torn, nasty) bag in the can.
    • My rug was not vacuumed at all last year
    • My room was only mopped about 5 times all year.

    Those are just what I know about - it's ridiculous! Please tell me that our situation is not the norm... I'd love to hear about good custodians! I really miss "my" sweeper - she was wonderful! My grandparents worked menial jobs (my granddad was on the highway crews) and taught me that, no matter what you do for a living, you should do it well. Unfortunately, our custodians don't have that kind of work ethic.
     
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  3. JustMe

    JustMe Virtuoso

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    Wow. Not my experiences at all. That's crazy! :(
     
  4. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

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    Aug 7, 2012

    Are the custodians in your union or private contractors?
     
  5. applecore

    applecore Devotee

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    I'm just astonished!!

    Sounds like the budget has been cut way far back.

    I hope it doesn't boarder on unsanitary---now that would be something to bring to the school board.

    We're fortunate enough to have two custodial staffers and a handfull of teenagers after school to come clean; but our custodial staff is stretched thin between two schools---and although they don't mean to gripe, it's not easy some days when they've got a busy day at the elementary and a full load to do at the other school.
     
  6. MrsC

    MrsC Multitudinous

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    We have a wonderful care-taking staff; they are truly an invaluable part of our school staff. They go above and beyond every day--cleaning, moving heavy furniture, helping load in and out, delivering our supply orders to our rooms, helping "trouble-shoot" computer problems, supporting us in discipline by "calling" the students on infractions like running in the halls, loitering, making a mess, littering, etc. They are approachable and caring--I wouldn't trade them for the world.
     
  7. Aussiegirl

    Aussiegirl Habitué

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    Yours is worse than mine, but ours is pretty bad. I can't give too many details - don't want it to be recognized, but believe me...

    My floor looks great - until I looked closely. Dust balls were waxed onto the floor! along with other junk. Our air filters are supposed to be changed every 3 months! TOO long! They really don't change them unless you get on their backs. When they finally changed mine, it was caked! He said that wasn't bad! Huh? I"m always sick once school starts. Was better last year because I brought in my own air purifier.

    At least no equipment is missing. Do you have cameras in your school?
     
  8. KinderCowgirl

    KinderCowgirl Phenom

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    Ours are very good. I left early one afternoon because I had suddenly gotten very sick, came back the following day and realized I hadn't locked up the big envelope of field trip money-but left it out on my desk. It was untouched. She's even picked up coins she's found on the floor that I assume the kids drop and leaves them on my desk-very honest.

    We're pretty messy too, I do a lot of projects with them and sometimes will come back from dismissal fully ready to clean up the room and she's beat me to it-even washed paintbrushes left in the sink before.
     
  9. Ima Teacher

    Ima Teacher Maven

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    I have worked with them on both sides of the spectrum. Early in my career, the ones who were assigned to my classroom swept or vacuumed daily and took out the trash. It was the same time and same things done every single day. I could ask for other things if needed--another desk, something taken to storage, etc.

    Then there is the current one. I went for FOUR MONTHS with the same trash bag. (I started the year with one and got one over Christmas break.) It was gross! He's absent all the time. He does what I call "half-@ssed" sweeping when he wants to. Trash overflows. Room not mopped. Don't do his required work, much less any extra. Gets pissy when asked to do his work. For the past two years it's been so bad that when he does bother to come to my room, I leave because it makes me mad to look at him. No soap or toilet paper in the bathroom. I know it's not cleaned well.

    I feel bad for the other workers. They got tired of picking up his slack years ago, so they don't. I also feel bad when I have to ask them for something that shouldn't be their job to do. The principal and assistant principal both mopped hallways last year when it wasn't done for events . . . and once when there was vomit in the hallway that hadn't been mopped up, but spread out thin over a larger area with a dirty mop. I offered to put toilet paper in the bathrooms once, and the assistant did it since he said it wasn't my job. I reminded him that it wasn't his either. In the 2008-2009 school year I wrote on my windows with window crayons. He complained because he'd have to clean them. I told him that I was going to removed it at the end of the year, and it wouldn't bother his cleaning in the summer at all. Guess what? My windows have yet to be cleaned. I removed my part well before school was out that year.
     
  10. Pencil Monkey

    Pencil Monkey Devotee

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    Oh i've got some for you. That is strange. Is it possible that one of the after hours cleaning folks has a kid or someone hanging around while they work? We had that happen in my last school and the kids were going into classrooms tearing them apart, eating food and leaving it laying around, playing with manipulative kits, and leaving messes. We finally figured out what was going on when someone popped in at night and found very young children roaming about unsupervised.

    Also, I have never heard of a custodian dusting. I have always done that myself.
     
  11. MikeTeachesMath

    MikeTeachesMath Devotee

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    Wow that's bad. The janitors at my high school were really good at their job, and they were the nicest people ever as well.
     
  12. YoungTeacherGuy

    YoungTeacherGuy Phenom

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    I've worked at three different schools within my district and I've never experienced anything remotely close to what you're describing.

    Our custodians are not contracted from "the outside." Maybe that makes a difference, too.

    I've definitely seen a couple of lazy custodians at the schools I've taught at, but they certainly do their job once you email the principal! :lol:
     
  13. cheeryteacher

    cheeryteacher Enthusiast

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    We had a custodian stealing from teachers. It did take a few years for us to catch on though. Money would come up missing around the time teachers were collecting for field trips. We all thought it was the kids, or maybe we miscounted. Money was stolen from me twice in two years, the first time I thought it was kids, the second time I thought it was the janitor because I kept the money in a locked box and the lock was picked. There is no way any student would be able to get into my desk AND pick the lock without me noticing. It also happened that all of the teachers that reported money stolen were in classes that this particular janitor was scheduled to clean. They pretty much set up a sting operation (including a hidden camera) to catch him so they could fire him. There is no way that all of that equipment would come up missing and my district do nothing. Unfortunately the teachers have to pay for money that comes up missing under their watch.
     
  14. pwhatley

    pwhatley Maven

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    I don't know if our custodians are union - they are eligible, but I dunno if they have opted in. What is really weird is that, when I worked for the "horrible" school my first year (the one that nearly killed me), we had phenomenal custodians - sweepers, everyone! My room was swept & mopped every day, and dusted at least once per week. As a first grade teacher, I have a bathroom in my classroom, and I never smelled it. I moved to my current school, and for my first two years, it was great. Then the superintendent let all the sweepers go (guess who cleaned my room?), and everything went to heck in a handbasket. It doesn't help that we are on our third principal in three years - hope this one sticks around and is a stickler - she already caught the custodian in question smoking on school grounds, and his response to her was "So? Nobody's here." She insisted he put it out, pick it up, and get to work. I truly hope that is a harbinger of things to come!
     
  15. giraffe326

    giraffe326 Virtuoso

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    Nothing ever goes missing, but their idea of 'clean' leaves a lot to be desired.
     
  16. tootgravytrain

    tootgravytrain Comrade

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    Well, I have about 2,400 available prison inmates who would be very happy to clean my room! hahahaha Really. And do a good job! We have an inmate tutor here in the school whom I go to for computer questions. We have guys with lots of mechanical skills. Point is some of our staff at the joint - especially maintenance - are in their jobs "because," not because they're necessairly qualified. Politics. Inmates are generally willing and more than able to help, within the bounds of security measures of course. I typically go for the one-time impulse killers or criminals. It's the habituals you can't trust.
     
  17. Pisces_Fish

    Pisces_Fish Fanatic

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    My last school was nothing like that. It was clean, the custodians were courteous, and they did their job to the best of their ability. I've come across some custodians I didn't particularly love (one used to stop by after school and chat me up until I had to leave)...but at the end of the day, they have all been great.
     
  18. chebrutta

    chebrutta Enthusiast

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    We had a "sting" last year, too. Mostly gym equipment went missing.

    Our custodians are required to take out the trash and sweep in the classrooms. We have to clean everything else.
     
  19. giraffe326

    giraffe326 Virtuoso

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    Happy birthday, pwhatley!!
     
  20. Proud2BATeacher

    Proud2BATeacher Phenom

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    At my old school, someone dropped a piece o an apple core on the floor in the staffroom. It was there for almost 3 months...

    I also worked in a school where the custodian will cut the grass by the flower beds and bring the lawnmower inside the school and leave it in front of my student's coat hooks. I complained to him multiple times about it and even suggested he put it in the shed outside where it was stored:confused:

    I also worked in a school where the custodian told us that if we left food out then he thought he had the right to take some:dizzy:. He was a nice guy and I bet if he asked or hinted a lot of us would have left treats out for him.
     
  21. Elm512

    Elm512 Companion

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    That's awful. Our custodial staff has 3 people but only one of them handles our wing. She's wonderful.. Keeps our rooms looking fantastic and she's just the sweetest most caring older lady. We love her!
     
  22. Sheila

    Sheila Comrade

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    My plant operator is WONDERFUL! She cleans my room and sanitizes everything! I couldn't be happier.
     
  23. pwhatley

    pwhatley Maven

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    Most of what is taking me sooooo long to get my room set up is that I have been cleaning everything - my room was nasty!
     
  24. Ms. I

    Ms. I Maven

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    I've worked in quite a few schools overall for a long enough time to see how the custodians are. They're adequate...nothing above & beyond astounding, but they do their job overall.
     
  25. mmswm

    mmswm Moderator

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    Many years ago the lady that was in charge of my building at the college got into a car accident and was gone for several months. I'd always appreciated how well she did her job, but when she was gone, I realized just how wonderful she really was. The man that replaced her was adequate, but you just don't realize how all those little extras add up.
     
  26. AlwaysAttend

    AlwaysAttend Fanatic

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    Two words: Nanny Cam
     
  27. waterfall

    waterfall Virtuoso

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    The janitor in my last school would literally not clean my room unless I asked. Since I wasn't in a "real" classroom my room was kind of off to the side (but still in the same hallway as the "real" classrooms and plainly visible!). I would have to leave a note on his door about once a week to vacuum and he wouldn't do it until I asked. Other teachers had their rooms vacuumed nightly.

    My grade level team at my new school told me our custodian is awesome and to definitely be friendly because our building is old! He came in this morning and asked if I wanted anything done and even moved around some furniture that was too heavy for me. So far, so good!
     

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