Meeting with custodial staff during a sorting system project is crucial because it gives insight into their perspective and any comments, concerns, and questions they may have. Oakland Tech Earth Team recently held a custodial meeting. Before we did this, we prepared by recording the key points we wanted to speak with them about.
These included materials to make their jobs easier, things we could do to support them, our concerns about the brute stations around the school, and anything else they wanted to speak with us about. It is important for us to have good communication and relationships with the staff at our school to make their jobs and our jobs run as smoothly as possible.
We decided to assist with their cleaning routes after our meeting as a way to repay them for lending us their time. Asha and I helped to clean out the sorting systems in classrooms and sweep the hallways with a custodian. It was interesting to see how people are sorting in the classrooms because we usually only go through brute stations during audits. It also helped us to understand the job better. Interacting with the staff both during the meeting and afterward on their cleaning routes felt good because we got acquainted (reacquainted for Jenna and repeaters) with them, were able to hear their wants and needs, and could experience their concerns for ourselves.
It was a learning experience for all involved and came with some surprises, such as how drastic the amount of contamination in different classrooms was. I would like for custodians to know that we are very open to hearing their input and they can and should share their comments, concerns, and questions with us whenever they feel it is necessary.
Written By: Jade, Oakland Tech Intern
Hear from our team and what they thought about the experience!
“I was really surprised to see how much they do. There were so many things for us to push around and carried I don’t know how someone could do that by themselves. And also all of the smells. Like it was smelling so gross and weird things in the bins. I appreciate them for biting the bullet and doing that for us. it was hard work.” – Asha
“I could not imagine doing that every day, it was really interesting to see a completely different path in life from the people I know. I think it’s really good and constructive to hear their input.” – Jade
“I enjoyed getting to know the janitor. It was interesting seeing for the first time how a janitor does his job. I realized that it’s pretty hard to be a janitor and they should never be ridiculed for their job.” – Espen
“It was really good. Or castoffs was really nice and outgoing. Our custodian seemed to know the teachers in his area decently” – Marco
“it was interesting to do the routes with the custodians I realized how much contamination was happening at Tech I think it would be helpful to educate teachers on the three bin system and to tell their students about it” – Kathy
“Working with the custodians was pretty cool because we got to see the skills that they use every day that we usually overlook. I also liked working with a custodian because he showed such great gratitude for the small amount of help that We gave showing how much he appreciates student interactions” – Jaiden
LEADERSHIP | STEWARDSHIP | SERVICE