2.08.2011

The Office Helper

When I was in the sixth grade, I was a member of the Safety Patrol.  At my elementary school, all of the cool kids were on the Patrol, and let me tell you, I thought I was hot stuff.  In reality, I was merely a notepad totin', sash wearin', deputy crossing guard.   

Now, twenty-six years later, my boy is about to take his turn on his school's version of the Safety Patrol.  Thursday morning, bright and early, my boy will start his job as an official Office Helper.  Exciting stuff, eh?

Technically, the boy was supposed to start last week, but no one bothered to let us in on that little tidbit of information.  He signed up during the first week of school, way back in August, and was told that someone would let us know when he was scheduled.  Apparently they forgot.

I heard through the grapevine that the "powers that be" were moderately annoyed when the kiddos neglected to show up for their shift.  I guess they just assumed that the kids would get a warm and fuzzy feeling inside indicating that their turn had arrived.  You know, just like bears instinctively know when to hibernate.

I wonder if I need to be concerned that these people are in charge of my son's education.  Hmm...

Anyway, at my son's school, fourth and fifth grade students can sign up to be an Office Helper.  They volunteer one day a week for two months.  The students are given a nifty neon green safety patrol belt that they have to wear when on duty.  They must arrive at school forty minutes early and stay until after all the other students are gone. 

The duties of an official Office Helper include:  opening doors for students, parents and staff, greeting people as they enter the building, lending a hand when necessary, helping to lead the Pledge of Allegiance and National Anthem, and taking down the flags at the end of the school day.

At the end of the seven weeks, my boy, along with the other Office Helpers will receive a reward for all their hard work.  And what a reward it is.  Drum roll please...  

The kids get to eat lunch with the principal, in his office.  I don't know about you, but that doesn't sound like much of a reward to me.  Punishment is more like it.  What elementary school student wants to eat lunch in the principals office?

I wish you could have seen the look on the boy's face when he realized his fate.  It was one of pure horror.  I am curious to see if the threat of a shared meal with the principal will be enough to keep him from joining the ranks of the Office Helpers again next year.

I have a feeling the boy is going to expect something mighty tasty in his lunch box that day. 

3 comment(s). Leave yours!:

nana said... Best Blogger Tips

This will be an interesting saga to follow. Keep us updated about the tasks of an office helper...

J. Curtis said... Best Blogger Tips

It sounds to me, if he accomplishes nothing else for the rest of his life, he can always fall back on those skills and procure a top spot as Wal-Mart greeter.

-j.

Anonymous said... Best Blogger Tips

When I was in kinder a million yrs ago, the Safety Patrol were my heroes cause they rescued my best friend and me. Because of huge trees being being cut down, we were told to leave the school through an unfamiliar entrance/exit. Two SP members found two little five yr old gals whimpering in the hall, took us to "our" exit, and had the tree-cutting halted until we passed through safely. Looking back, I can see that should have been my first clue that I have zero sense of direction. Eating with the principal -- our kids would like it seriously. And,cross my heart, some teachers --as a reward -- eat their lunch with the kids in the classroom and the kids are DELIGHTED. And oh the sad faces on the ones, who for whatever reason, have to eat in the lunchroom. (And the teacher is "giving up" her duty-free lunch. And if the weather permits, they take their lunch outside with the teacher to eat in the gazebo...)

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