For two and a half years I had the privilege of working as the head custodian of an elementary school in Woodland Park, CO. I am a former pastor and so this was quite the change for me as far as a work environment goes, but, I decided I was going to make it a positive experience. Little did I know how that experience would change my life. Join me as I share some of the valuable lessons I learned as I spent each day working out of the Janitor's closet. 

Welcome back to the Janitor's closet! Summer is getting smaller in our rearview mirror and the routine of the school day is beginning to become, well... routine. Names are becoming familiar, rules are beginning to be understood, and the first break of the school year has arrived. Labor day is a national holiday that celebrates the social and...

I Am Third 

03/02/2022

Selfish, that was the perfect adjective to describe the way I was feeling. I only felt it for a moment but there was no doubt, in that moment, I was thinking only about myself.

"Would you be interested in the head Custodian job?" That was the question presented to me by the district's director of operations two weeks before summer break. The head custodian of my school had decided not to return because of health reasons and his position needed to be filled. I had been working as the night custodian and so I...

Welcome back to the Janitor's Closet! As of this writing Punxsutawney Phil has seen his shadow, gone back in his hole, and declared to the whole world that we can expect six more weeks of Winter. I love Bill Murray's movie, "Groundhog Day". The thought of reliving the same day over and over until you get it right intrigues me....

It was just another day in the life of a janitor. The walkie talkie on my belt squawked to life interrupting my mid afternoon rendezvous with the cafeteria floor. "MISTER DEREK?", the voice from the other side said in a somewhat jovial tone. This always gave me a moment of pause because I knew, instinctively, that it meant I...

As the head custodian of an average size elementary school I had many opportunities to witness many acts of random kindness. Staff to student, student to staff, staff to staff, they happened right before my eyes each and every day. Watching a staff member as they sat on the floor and comforted a student who wasn't having a particularly good...

The year 2022 is upon us and, ready or not, we have to figure out a way to deal with it. Christmas breaks are braking, New Year 's resolution are resolving, old is gone and new is in. I can remember the feeling at school the first day staff reported back after Christmas break. For janitors it is just another...

Excitement is always at a premium when it comes to special days at school. The first day of school is not so much fun but exciting and a little scary. The last day of school is filled with excitement but it can be tinged with a little sadness. Spring break holds glamour for the older students more than the younger...

The title might be confusing if you don't understand the reference. I know what it means and I'm not sure I can do it justice with my explanation but I certainly am going to try. My life lessons learned as I looked out from the Janitor's closet applied to a school setting but it applies to all professions and all...

The view from the Janitor's closet can be enlightening if you look hard enough. Sometimes you don't need to look hard at all. If you are fortunate enough enlightenment hits you right in the face. It's undeniable, it's unavoidable, and, more often than not, it's unbelievable. I was enlightened by many things during my tenure as a custodian. Daily,...

The What If? Project
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