Q&A (translation of article in Japanese weblog dated February 7, 2006)

Hello. I enjoy your weblog. I am a manager of a cram school for an elementary school and Junior high school students. I have about 30 members of staff, including part-time staff.
Our school staff start the day with cleaning up. All staff clean up class rooms, entrance halls and the outside of our building. I am a manager, but I will do cleaning together with them.
However, some teachers think that “My job is to improve student’s schoolwork, not cleaning.” And they do cleaning unwillingly.
It seems managerial staff also think that “I understand office clerks do cleaning. But if teachers concentrate on teaching only, it will be more efficient.”
From my experience, teachers who do not clean up willingly are not trusted by students and their parents. Also, their teaching is not good well received among students and their parents.
It might be general trend, but I have mixed emotions toward this. What do you think about staff cleaning up our place.
From a long time ago, it is said that to clean up your own place means clean up your own mind. I think cleaning up is very important in the education and development of human resources.
The problem is if your staff who do clean up, understand its purpose correctly or not. There’ll always be teachers who think that the manager makes us do cleaning for cost reductions.
If a manager does only cleaning, this is problem. Also, it is certainly true if technical staff do only cleaning, it is not efficient.
However, you have a clear purpose to do cleaning with all staff.
I define one of the purposes of cleaning as “to improve realization ability.” If you clean up with sending Ki, you will be able to realize many things which you do not realize usually.
Besides cleaning, they help to improve realization such as lining up shoes both yours and others, turn off the light if you do not need it, lock up and check to put out the fire before leaving etc.
Teachers should realize many things such as if the students’ chair is unstable, something is bothering the students, information on the billboard is old, by doing a clean up.
If teachers train to realize such a minutia, I think teachers will realize small differences in the students immediately.
I would like to suggest that all staff decide where to clean up, then write what they realized through cleaning. If staff who realized a lot are commended for their outstanding achievement in realization, it will be encouragement for all staff.
There is not only one purpose when cleaning up. The important thing is to clear up the purpose of cleaning and all staff use mind and clean up. I hope this answer helps you. Thank you very much.