Editorial: Appreciating Behind-the-Scenes Workers

Katie Kempff and Chloe Ladines

Wake up, get dressed, brush your teeth, drive to school. We all have our own morning routine. For some, though, each morning contains much more than we realize. 

When we go to school, we are rushed and groggy at 7:20 AM. Administrators, teachers, and other staff members are already there, coffee in hand.

What many students don’t notice is all that these people have done before the first bell. While students are busy stressing about tests, homework, or sports, they often ignore the state of the building they’re in and all of the work that is necessary to keep it that way. 

In this issue, Principal Richter was interviewed about the school changes due to COVID. It occurred to the X-Ray Staff that the amount of effort put into school cleaning and maintenance has been left unacknowledged by the majority of the student body. 

Of course, there are many students at East who respect the COVID guidelines put in place. Recently, though, we have noticed that more people are moving away from the guidelines in an attempt to reach “normalcy.” Many are eager to get over the stress of the past year and rip off that mask. But for many staff members, their daily work has been impacted by the pandemic in many more ways than masks. 

Each day, the janitorial staff sanitizes the building. Classrooms, hallways, bathrooms, tables, chairs, — everything is wiped down. However, all their hard work is reset after school. The clean chairs, hallways, and bathrooms have now been sat on, walked through, or used by hundreds of students. 

Our germs and other bacteria are able to spread across the building, and without the daily cleaning from the janitorial team, we would not be able to go to school in-person. 

On top of that, the staff wears masks while cleaning the school. If walking around with a mask on is a struggle for most students, imagine how it’d feel to wear a mask while cleaning 100+ rooms, endless hallways, and the cafeteria. Not everyone can pull a feat like that everyday.

The janitorial team also helps out in social distancing the tables to accomplish the 3-6 feet of required social distancing. With so many tables within the school building, it takes them a few hours to complete this task. Mr. Richter himself brings around a measuring tape to help space out tables when they need fixing. 

While the whole world seeks for a return to normalcy, we ask that East students take a moment to consider all of those who are making it possible. School administrators, staff, and janitors work far beyond our 7:20-2:20 schedule. They are here early in the morning and late into the evening, all so that they can make our space safe to use. 

So, give thanks and credit to all of those who are allowing us to walk through the hallways, laugh with our friends at lunch, and talk to our teachers in-person. Without their under-appreciated work, we would still be talking to each other through a screen.