Secretary’s Day

Here’s a reminder that Secretary’s Day is coming up on April 23, 2008.

Any experienced music teacher should already be aware how valuable the school secretary is. A helpful secretary can make your job much easier. A combative one can make your job frustrating.

One of the best ways to stay on your secretary’s good side is to make sure you have paperwork taken care of. Secretaries may not fully appreciate whether your students can play in 5/8, or if they can construct harmonic minor scales. They do, however, appreciate when you’ve properly handled paperwork like purchase orders, field trip forms, facility reservations, and invoices.

If you are relatively new to your school, it might take some time to build your secretary’s trust in you. She might have a bad opinion of music teachers if your predecessors were disorganized. On the other hand, your predecessor may have been God’s gift to that school, and how can a whippersnapper like you think you can fill his shoes? Your goal in either case if to make sure she knows you know how to handle the business aspects of teaching.

Here are a few ideas of what you might give your secretary on her special holiday:
* A card with an appreciative handwritten message
* Bagels, donuts, brownies, cookies, etc.
* A gift certificate to her favorite store or restaurant

Also, not all secretaries are created equal. In my own experience as a traveling teacher working various schools, I can say that some secretaries like to socialize and others are all about getting to business. Some are willing to go the extra step to help you, and some won’t give you the time of day unless you have your i’s dotted and your t’s crossed. The trick is to figure out what makes each person tick and respond accordingly.

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One thought on “Secretary’s Day

  1. Something I have learned very early on it to get along well with the office staff. They are the ones who run the building.

    It pays off to have good relationships with the secretaries at other schools as well. I know there are certain schools I can call, chat with the secretary a little bit, make a request, and have the principal calling me back within a few minutes. That is a result of being courteous with those secretaries.

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