I think that people who work outside of the school system may think that secretaries just answer the phone and greet visitors. They fail to realize that the office is the grand central station of the school. Our work is a mix of everything. Not only answering the phones, but supporting teachers with their needs, helping the administrators with projects, and most importantly guiding and helping our students that come into the office.
Balancing the paperwork that needs to be done, and making sure that everyone that comes in the office (students, parents, tutors, teachers etc.) have everything that they need, and that all their questions are answered. As a secretary you have to make sure that you manage the office, and try to make sure that it is always a welcoming environment for visitors, and a safe and welcoming place for our students.
I have previously worked in other industries as a secretary, but I feel fulfilled working in the school. I love working with our students because each day is so different. Our students need us for support and encouragement when they are not at home. They look to the adults at school to help them succeed; not only our teachers, but all support staff. Our kids find that one person that they can connect with and trust to go to daily with any problems, or to just share their accomplishments. I truly believe that it takes a village to raise a child.
For the next few weeks, to learn about the role support staff plays in the schools, Charlottesville Tomorrow's Meet Your Educator profiles will feature non-teaching professionals.