Teacher Furious That The Entire School Staff Is Celebrated For Teacher Appreciation Week — Including Secretaries & Custodians

"I do secretarial work every day but wasn't included in secretary's day."

teacher angry her school includes non-teachers in teacher appreciation week Krakenimages / Shutterstock.com

Teaching in America is an increasingly difficult and ever more thankless job, but at least there's a chance to thank them during Teacher Appreciation Week. Right? 

One teacher's school includes non-teachers in Teacher Appreciation Week, and it's left her feeling even more devalued than if the school had skipped the event altogether.

It perfectly highlights not only how unappreciated teachers in America are but also how unequally the impacts of our crumbling education system are experienced among school staff. 


Her school includes non-teachers in Teacher Appreciation Week, such as secretaries and custodians.

On one hand, the school's heart is in the right place. The teacher wrote in her post on Reddit that her school has declared that "every adult who works in this building is a teacher!" presumably to underline the impact that every school staff member has on students.

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But to this teacher, it felt like an insult — over and above the already inadequate pay and benefits the position provides. "Our teacher appreciation week is always a joke," she wrote, "but it really rubbed me the wrong way when a message was sent this morning" notifying teachers of the inclusive approach to Teacher Appreciation Week.

The school wants to honor the way 'every adult' in a school touches kids' lives, but teachers are never included when other staff are honored.

It's one thing to give a school's staff a round of applause, but quite another to actually include them in the already paltry Teacher Appreciation Week gift-giving. That's exactly what this school decided to do, however. 

The message teachers received said that secretaries, custodians, and other school staff "would be participating in our meager TA week things," which the teacher found downright galling given that the school never includes teachers when it's time to honor other staff members.

"No offense, but the secretaries got a Ruth's Chris luncheon off-campus and half a day off for Secretary's Day," the teacher wrote. "I … do secretarial work every day and didn't see a whiff of that."


That type of gift is far above and beyond what teachers typically receive during Teacher Appreciation Week. Scores of teachers have gone viral sharing the baggies of lollipops and notepads they receive as a thank you for doing a crucial job that is not only woefully underpaid but increasingly dangerous due not only to gun violence but assaults by students as well.

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But more importantly, teachers are often called upon to take care of tasks that are under the purview of these positions' jobs. "No one besides me has swept my classroom all year," the teacher wrote by way of example. "The custodians got $100 gift cards for custodian appreciation."


And in a true sign of the times, the teacher closed by writing that "luckily I don't have a ton of time to ruminate on it" since she works two other jobs, "which I need because teaching doesn't pay [expletive]."

burned out teacher Just Dance / Shutterstock

All school staff contribute to kids' education, but they do not share the consequences equally with teachers.

There's no doubt that it takes a special kind of person to do any job in a school. I vividly remember my elementary school secretary and the hilarious Greek custodian who'd tell me silly dad jokes whenever he saw me get teased in the hallway. These people really do make a difference.


But to say their jobs are in any way the same as a teacher's is absurd on its face — especially in today's climate where teachers are continually attacked and scapegoated by parents, administrators, and perhaps especially politicians and their supporters.

@yourtango A parent demanded an apology when a teacher used classroom time to name her puppy #teachertok #school #puppy #dogsoftiktok #reddit ♬ original sound - YourTango

Since 2020, teacher resignations have reached all-time highs in some parts of the country, and studies have consistently shown that the constant political attacks both from legislators and from parents — over everything from LGBTQ+ issues to teaching the history of race and banning books covering similar topics — are part of what is fueling the resignations.

In short, it is not secretaries and custodians being constantly accused of being pedophile "groomers" for acknowledging the existence of LGBTQ+ people in the classroom. Nor, frankly, are they the ones charged with saving kids' lives during an active shooter situation. It's teachers.


exhausted teacher Kitreel / Shutterstock

And if schools want to share the wealth, then they need to truly share the wealth — by throwing those $100 gift cards and steak dinners at all the teachers, too, not just the handful of people running the office or cleaning the buildings.

It's absurd that this even needs to be pointed out. But then, that's the state of education in a country that has routinely attacked education in favor of other priorities — and is now paying the price.


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John Sundholm is a news and entertainment writer who covers pop culture, social justice, and human interest topics.