Show appreciation to everyone at the schools

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By The Staff

This week I’d like to take a look at the people in our school buildings. So while you may often hear this upcoming week being referred to as Teacher Appreciation week, it is also called Staff Appreciation week.

So I hope you can find the time in some small way to appreciate them all. When I say all of them, I mean the secretaries, instructional assistants, custodians, librarians, art teachers, music teachers, physical education instructors and the lunchroom staff.

As budget cuts continue to loom, one of the side benefits of the job has to be praise in some form or fashion. The truth is there are some people who don’t get near the amount of recognition they deserve; they are called the “front line staff.” The ladies, and I do believe they are all ladies, face things that you wouldn’t believe possible.

There’s a gentleman named Nathan Eklund that wrote a book called, “How Was Your Day at School?” He’s talking about the staff in the building. He even has a Web site www.Howwasyourdayatschool.org. My hope is to bring him to the community someday to fill the well of our masses who spend day and sometimes night working to benefit our children.

I saw Eklund speak at an Assets conference, just prior to the release of the book. At the time, I sat in the awesome position of PTO president for an elementary school. The position was awesome because I was the only non-school person the room. He spoke about staff appreciation week and how for one glorious week, we pay homage to those who work very hard and not always for the greatest amount of money.

I also learned about some of the best and worst gifts ever given to educators. Another thing I learned along the way is that when gift cards are purchased for staff members, they’re often inclined to make a purchase for the classroom. I spoke with a few educators and learned that this seemed to be a general idea shared among many of them.

I told them as a parent that I wouldn’t dream they would spend my gift on a classroom purchase and from that moment on, I always knew that whatever the gift, they did not doubt that it was meant for them.

This week, I had the opportunity to spend some elementary landscape funds at the Pajarito Greenhouse, in White Rock. I was told that even CB Fox gift cards were able to be used for plant purchases and thought it was a great idea.

The Lauritzen family preferences lean towards homegrown flowers and fresh baked goods. The truth is we try to recognize someone different each day of the week. So if it seems like you have too many to acknowledge, spread them out over a few days.

Free teacher e-cards or electronic cards are available at www.myfuncards.com. The cards are free, yes free, so your only investment is just a few minutes of time. So celebrate a few if you can and all of them if you dare.  A simple drawing from a student, a kind e-mail or whatever strikes your fancy.

Join me on KRSN AM 1490 on Monday from 9 -10 a.m, as I talk to Ken Nebel, from Village Arts. We’ll talk about arts, crafts and an upcoming one-woman show by Claire Swinhoe, a LAPS employee.

Finally please join us as Dr. Peter Benson of the Search Institute heads to Los Alamos on May 11. You can save your seat at www.AssetsInAction.info and school staff receives extra credit for attending. You’ll leave this presentation with a new way to help youth find their passion.

Assets In Action is sponsored by the Juvenile Justice Advisory Board and the Los Alamos Chamber of Commerce. Call 661-4846 for information.