A reader comments: “You failed to mention the high degree of knowledge that a school custodian must have today if they are to succeed in keeping the school clean while staying in budget. Your observations would be appreciated.”

Today’s school custodian is expected to know a lot of science and math while being able to perform a multitude of tasks that require ongoing training. In some ways, they are closer to engineers and paramedics than they are to the stereotypical Janitor Joe who swings a mop around. Following are a few points to consider:

  1. They need to understand the difference between cleaning for healthy environment and cleaning for appearance realizing that both are important as well as...
  2. They need to understand chemicals, pH, chemical interactions, IAQ (Indoor Air Quality) concerns, mixing safely and correctly as well as...
  3. The differences in floor types that may or may not require a certain type finish/seal/coating to protect the floor surfaces as well as...
  4. They need to understand different types of equipment from a basic swing machine to a high speed burnisher along with the different type pads necessary to strip/scrub/shine the surface as well as...
  5. They need to understand scheduling and workloading so that tasks are prioritized and performed in the right order as well as...
  6. They need to understand first aid since they may be the first responder to a child or adult choking or having some other emergency as well as...
  7. They need to understand the types of children they are working with and have the patience of Job some days as well as...
  8. They need to understand the teachers, parents and administration who may not fully appreciate the value they bring to the table when the floors are clean, rest room are cleaned and stocked and everyone can learn in a safe, inviting environment.

All this and more just to keep the average school clean.

Your comments and questions are important. I hope to hear from you soon. Until then, keep it clean...

Mickey Crowe has been involved in the industry for over 35 years. He is a trainer, speaker and consultant. You can reach Mickey at 678-314-2171 or CTCG50@comcast.net