Several years ago when I was in 3rd grade I bought a yellow football. I was so excited to take it to school and play with it at recess. I don’t remember the details, but the ball ended up on the school roof, I was devastated! After school, I talked to the custodian. He brushed me off by saying he couldn’t get my ball down at that moment. I asked him later, and he told me he couldn’t find my football, I was pretty disappointed.
Whenever I was let down by adults when I was a kid, I vowed to do things differently when I got older. I have had many chances to show children that they do matter regardless of how big or small the problem. I have had this chance more often since I became an elementary custodian almost 25 years ago.
One of these moments came the other day when a second grade student came to me crying. She told me that she lost one of the lenses from her glasses in an air vent outside. This situation came at a really bad time. We had just received 5 inches of snow and I was tired of shoveling snow. The last thing I wanted to do was go looking for a lens from a pair of glasses. After much searching, I found the lens giving it to the girl waiting above. She was so thrilled to have the lens to her glasses back.
This made me realize we each have things that matter to us. They might not mean a thing to others but they matter to us. Small random acts of kindness make a difference in the lives of everyone, we have a connection with. When a student asks me to get their shoe off the roof, or they have a ball that needs to be blown up, I help them with a smile. The children at my school know that I care, and their concerns matter.