When things get tough, the tough get going, and there’s no group of people tougher or more compassionate than our lunch and daycare staff at Christmas Park Elementary. During this pandemic, which has gone on for far too long, this group of employees keeps showing up, demonstrating their dedication to their job and, more importantly, to the children.
Don’t get me wrong, it hasn’t been easy on anyone; the teachers have also had their fair share of burdens during this pandemic. And the support staff in general has been amazing, receiving kudos for a job well done in the news and social media. However, in all the news reports and social media posts, there has never been a mention about the staff who have shown up for work from the very beginning of this pandemic, when things were scary and nobody knew anything about the infectious disease. These brave men and women stepped up so essential services in our communities could go to work. Parents dropped their children off with the emergency daycare staff, knowing without a doubt their children would be safe and well looked-after. It was the daycare staff that put on the masks, the PPE, the gloves and a great big smile to help those children get through the first wave of this horrific pandemic. Yet we didn’t hear about these brave souls in the news. We didn’t hear about their fears of catching or spreading the virus and bringing it home to their loved ones. We didn’t hear about the long hours and the anxiety that would overcome each staff member as someone else got sick or was sent home because of a positive test. And we should have, because it’s not just during pandemics that these incredible people give to the children in their care. It’s every day of every year, even in the direst of times, that they step up and handle crisis after crisis with calmness, care and humor.
I’ve been a daycare technician for almost eleven years now and have witnessed the dedication and spirit that is ingrained, it seems, in these staff members. In times of crisis, there’s a calm about them, an “If there’s something to be done, let’s do it!” kind of attitude. They jump right in to whatever catastrophe they’re facing. Snowstorms, ice storms, pandemics – its just another day in daycare. It seems those who run and work in daycares really are prepared for anything. We must give them credit for handling such crazy situations with such dedication and kindness. We daycare technicians should be so proud of our staff and what they do for our communities. Without these incredible educators, a lot of parents would be stuck. With extended families becoming a thing of the past, some parents have no choice but to send their children to daycare.
Here we are again, a new year and a new variant upon us, one that seems to be spreading as fast as wildfires. The children are back to learning from home. To help parents who are essential workers, our daycares, once again, are open and ready for business. And again, the staff is working hard to make sure the children that are coming are online and doing their schoolwork. They’re making sure they’re comfortable and happy. I want to thank my staff who have come into work during this second round of Covid-19. Who knows how many more we will have to battle, but it seems to get easier as we go on, and less scary, thanks to the vaccinations.
So, let’s not forget the forgotten ones. The ones who show up no matter what the crisis. The ones who care deeply about the children and are concerned for their health and safety. The ones who make daycare fun, are always happy and have only joy to spread. Let’s not forget the forgotten ones who never boast about what they do, and who really do so very much for our schools and our communities.
Cheers to our daycare staff across the board – for your hard work, dedication and sprit. We have not forgotten you!
Photo by Martha Farley – all rights reserved