Friday, January 10, 2014

Foreign Friday

Cardboard sign placed in the chalk tray when the material
on the board was important and should not be erased. 
In the days before white boards and Smart Boards, classrooms had chalkboards (some were black, but most were green). My classrooms in Japan had both black and green boards.

The custodians at Robert D. Edgren High School were local hires, and all were native Japanese who spoke very little English. The signs shown in this post were used to tell the custodians when the notes or information on the board could or could not be erased. The signs eliminated confusion and frustration.

Cardboard sign placed in the chalk tray when the material on the
board could safely be erased and the board cleaned. 
I had some excellent custodians in my 33 years in the classroom, and I regret not taking a photo of them each year in my classroom. The custodians made my job easier, and I appreciated every one of them.


  1. I don't think the custodians cleaned the chalk boards at the school I went to as a kid. I remember the teachers used to let the students do it periodically. Somehow they had us convinced it was a privilege and we really did enjoy doing it.

  2. When I was in elementary school, the students erased the board at the end of the day. Like Wool Winder said, it was considered a privilege. Apparently all the teachers went to the Tom Sawyer School of Chore Delegation.

  3. As other's have said, it was something we all wanted to do. I also remember the teacher sending us outside to beat the reasers (full of chalk) against the side of the brick building.....resulting in a whole bunch of white rectangles printed on the building. Can you imagine such a thing today? My grandkids start out in Kindergarten with electronic smart boards they use from a computer. I don't think there are any chalkboards left in the building. I still have a box of "school chalk" that I mark quilts with!

  4. Here, here! I sure appreciated the custodians' work as well. Love the sign you used in Japan!

  5. They
    Are a special breed. I would have loved to see them!

  6. I regret that I only knew/remember two of the custodians in my schools. They were patient, kind men!

  7. I remember getting to clean the chalkboard brushes!! I loved that job... don't remember custodians as a student...but had great ones when I worked in the school!!

  8. I remember having to clean chalkboard erasers. *Cough


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