Follow by Email

Saturday, January 24, 2015

Honoring those working the night shifts

Delfina, 5 years here,  painted by Dylan
Our school has recently decided to go with a new maintenance and cleaning company. The "fine print" in that decision revealed that all the staff, who had been there for up to 22 years, were let go... right at Christmas. It was difficult for many of us in the community to hear. Most of us were torn up because of the relationship and the trust we had built up with the staff, and we had to continue working without voicing our opinion.
I have to respect that this decision was made without sharing all the facts of the situation. We must have faith that the new leadership of the school has the best intentions in mind for the future of the school. We must have faith. Change is always difficult.

William, who had been there 11 years

Arturo, one year...and he got to stay with us
Several of my students tried to honor the staff with portraits. I have had them in the display cases for the last two weeks and will be delivering them to the subjects as gifts from the students this week.
Beloved Hugo, 22 years at our school
 Hugo was drawn by one of the juniors in the AP classroom, Ana ... she had her friend Victoria take the photograph from which she drew with her signature sensitivity! We are all hoping Hugo has a good job now.
Daisy, 7 years- she cleaned my classroom every night
Evelyn, 4 years, cleaned the bathrooms
It seems as though even talking about this turnover is a risk. There is very little job security when you work at a private school. Only a handful of my colleagues have even acknowledged the display of the artworks. I have been told by several that I am brave to have made this feeble gesture. How could I not? Art is the perfect vehicle for digesting difficult situations and feelings. It gives the powerless a voice. The students felt empowered painting these.

Raul, 5 years
Odalis, 3 years, always laughing

Armando, 15 years
Abel, head of the night crew, 1 and 1/2 years
Abel had the most positive attitude. He insisted Change was good, and perhaps with a new job he could see his family more often.
Rubenia, 2 years
Rollie, could fix or build anything... at our school 18 years

Lazaro, 2 years
Not pictured: Gabriel, 4 years here, cleaned the private and main dining halls.
Each painting is 20 x 16 inches and made in the media that the student felt most comfortable with.
Post a Comment