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Career Story: School Secretary At A Public Elementary School

School Secretary At A Public Elementary School

Job Title: School Secretary

Type of Company: I work for a school district in a suburb of Boston area.

Education: high school diploma, some junior college courses

Previous Experience: I worked in a bank and worked for the school department in their daycare facility.

Job Tasks: It is my responsibility to make sure that the day goes smoothly for staff and students alike. This includes keeping accurate track of attendance and contacting substitutes when necessary. I am also in contact with all bus drivers at all times to insure that all the kids get to and from school safely. I make sure lunches are ordered in a timely manner for the kitchen staff and make adjustments to the schedules as needed to accommodate absences.

Best and Worst Parts of the Job: The best part of the job is the people I get to meet. At the elementary level, the children are a joy and we have very few noteworthy discipline problems. I love being able to assist them, by calling home for a forgotten lunch, confirming their after-school plans, keeping them company if a parent is running late or sharing their accomplishments with them.

Along with that comes the worst part of my job, which is the responsibility of it all. I feel personally responsible for everyone in the school, including staff. If there are problems at home, I listen. If someone has a health problem, I listen. If someone needs guidance and encouragement I try to steer them in the right direction or find someone who can help them. I feel like I do not work with forty teachers, I've added forty more people to my family.

Job Tips: I would encourage people to pay attention to correct grammar and spelling and not be caught up in the "text" language we see so often now. Working in a school, you have to make sure that papers and materials that you send home are worthy of your school and present the school in the best possible light.

Additional Thoughts: I am surprised at the many different things that come up in a day that I did not expect. I don't think people realize I need to be a communicator, cover for the nurse, cover for the principal, oversee buses, generate all correspondence, order supplies, be the primary phone contact, be prepared for emergencies and be the primary security agent. The main quality one must have to be a school secretary is a genuine love of people and an ability to multi-task at all times.

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