"A hero is an ordinary person who finds strength to persevere and endure in spite of overwhelming obstacles." ~ Christopher Reeve
We've all heard the phrase, "unsung hero" or at least I assume most of us have. Although many of us have heard the phrase, I am not sure as many have reflected on who those heroes are in our lives. So, I've decided to dedicate this article to a reflection of identifying those unsung heroes.
Typically when people think about public education they identify teachers and administrators as those that have the most influence on student learning and development. Although there is truth to that assimilation, there are many unsung heroes in our learning organizations. Bus drivers, paraprofessionals, custodians, administrative assistants, cooks, coaches, advisors, directors, school board members, and all others not mentioned also play a vital role in the development of our learners and should not go unnoticed.
This year Governor Walz proclaimed the week of January 27th to January 31st, Paraprofessional Week. According to Merriam Webster's Dictionary, unsung heroes are those that do not receive recognition for the heroic work they do. All groups I mentioned previously fit into that definition and due to the Governor's Proclamation, I would like to focus on the work of our paraprofessionals.
The New London-Spicer paraprofessionals are a group of extremely committed professionals dedicated to assisting our teaching staff in their pursuit of providing a high-quality education for all students that enter our schoolhouse gate. These individuals are responsible for providing supplemental support that goes above the general education obligation. In many cases, their work is full of unique circumstances and challenges. What I am most impressed with here at New London-Spicer is this group's unswerving commitment to providing a positive experience for each of the students they are responsible for throughout their day, which leads to an astonishing daily success rate!
In closing, all individuals within our organization are of extreme importance. Should you encounter any of our staff members, please thank them for their service. In addition, in recognition of this proclamation week, please thank a paraprofessional. We appreciate these unsung heroes and are fortunate to have them on our team!