We, students, arrive early in the morning when the classes are tidy and the bathrooms are clean. We leave school in the afternoon, when classes have eraser residue on the floor, when desks have been scratched or drawn on with messages one student leaves another, when water bottles, projects and books have been left carelessly lying around the corridors and when the bathrooms are completely destroyed. You may be wondering, why and how does this happen? It’s because of small decisions each of us makes every single day.
Let’s use paper as an example. How many times have you cut paper in class and forgot to throw it in the bin? How many times have you attempted to throw the paper into the bin but weren’t truly sure it entered? This may not be you, but how many times have you seen others do these things? And how many times have you said something or picked that simple piece of paper up? Think about it, if it’s not you then who will pick it up?
The staff members will, as they do every single day.
And, do you know the staff members? Do you know their names? Do they have a family? Do you know anything about them? Should you? After all, they are the ones who take care of the school because we, the students, do not.
8 staff members were interviewed to gain information about the pupil’s and teacher’s behaviour towards the staff and the school environment. Even though the staff members worked in different areas around the school, all shared strikingly similar answers – some students and teachers MUST change their behaviour.
During the interviews, astonishing facts were revealed.
- Did you know that one of the staff members who has worked in the school for nearly 30 years has never been asked about the behaviour of us, students, and teachers?
- The staff in charge of the bathrooms has witnessed terrible conduct from the students. There have been incidents where students, even though they are cleaning the bathrooms, have entered and have stepped on/ kicked the cleaning utensils and used the bathroom carelessly.
- One of the interviewed believes that throughout the years (in general) the older promotions are the most disrespectful ones. As they see themselves as more mature and are leaving school soon, they feel entitled to respond badly to the workers sometimes.
- For many years it was believed that the bathrooms were not clean because the staff didn’t do their job thoroughly. Last year, an experiment was conducted where the staff had to clean all the bathrooms again. It was discovered that the problem wasn’t the cleaning but the students’ use of the bathrooms.
- All of the interviewed staff says that students don’t normally say “hello” to the workers. A smile would be very welcomed and appreciated because sometimes the students make them feel like they are invisible.
- Did you know that some of the interviewed staff didn’t even know what houses were? House activities are constant and very important and no one has taken the time to explain to them what is a house.
School is an environment that we are in 5 days a week, 9 weeks per bimester for 4 bimesters. During a school day, without counting the hours that we are sleeping, we spend most of our day in school, so why don’t we take care of it? Would you flush the toilet in your house? Would you pick a paper that is on the floor in your room? If the answer is yes, why don’t we all do it in school? After all, we spend most of our time at our school.
So, what will you do? Change must happen and it all begins with us. The school will be a better and more enjoyable place for all of us.