Essay On I Love Clean School Toilet

I like to think I am a good role model for my children.  Whether I am writing a dissertation or preparing a lecture or scrubbing the toilets or chopping the carrots or wiping my child’s nose, I am present in that moment.  There is nothing more important than the job I am doing right then even if the latter tasks are often devalued in our society.  We simply need to reframe the doing of chores as the foundation of all else.  This radical revaluing of currently devalued unpaid household labor starts with evaluating how we even talk about unpaid work and the spirit in which we approach this work – the work of rearing children, cleaning, mowing the lawn, preparing meals, food shopping.  The base of Maslow’s hierarchy of needs focuses on the fulfillment of physiological needs – sleep, food, water, shelter, air to breathe.  Superimposing Maslow’s hierarchy onto the macro economy, one can see how these unpaid tasks provide the foundational grease and base for all that happens in the larger economy.  Stop taking care of kids when they are sick, fail to bring home the food and cook it, never clean another dish and one will see how quickly the other paid work is no longer able to be accomplished.  The economy gets a “free ride” on all the unpaid labor happening on the home front.  Ultimately, the gains of highly educated, middle class woman in to professional careers (law, medicine, academia, government) since the 1970s post second wave feminist movement have been won on the backs of the invisible labor of poorer women who fill in the gaps on the home front.  I’m sure Sheryl Sandberg who urged women to “lean-in” is not going home to clean the toilets! 

Feminists have advocated for years that the answer to women’s inequality is for women to have equal access to work out in the world and to cut through the glass ceiling keeping women out of leadership in so many professions.  I’m talking about cleaning toilets.  I can see my being accused of sending women from the boardroom backwards into the bathroom at home.  What kind of feminist do I think I am?  Working women have the almost impossible task of succeeding out in the world of work and also keeping full responsibility of the home tasks.    Women may be able to have more equal, though not full access in the world of outside work.  Even if there has been progress with women entering professions of law, academia, medicine and government, women still make 70 cents to a dollar earned by a man and often encounter the glass ceiling or even more likely a “maternal wall” in rising to leadership positions.

There has not been a similar revolution within the home, still considered to be the responsibility primarily of the woman even if she too works full time.  Add in the additional hours of childcare for working mothers and it is not surprising that so may well educated, professional career mothers have decided to join Lisa Belkin’s “opt out” phenomenon to gain some sort of balance and sanity.  Arlie Russell Hochschild details the stress of women having to have a second unpaid job at home, what she refers to as “the second shift”.  According to the American Time Use Survey, women are working more unpaid hours in the home compared to men.  Indeed only 19% of men in heterosexual households did any kind of household cleaning.   Is the answer to the stress of a “second shift” really to hire low income, possibly undocumented women to pick up the slack at home?

I know families justify the hiring of home help with the answer that they are doing well by providing jobs, but what kind of jobs are these home jobs commonly with minimal non living wages, no job security, no health insurance, no vacation and no retirement benefits?  What kind of messages do we send our kids when we outsource this toilet work because “we have more important things to do!”?  Why should someone else do our dirty work?  I’m just asking the questions here.  If we want to see any future change in everyone (male and female) taking responsibility for the second shift, we need to start looking at how we approach these tasks in an everyday way and teach our children.  Our children are watching and learning from us.  

Here is my radical proposal:  Every parent should teach his or her child to clean especially the bathrooms.  To bring about a revolution in the home with more equalized participation of men and women in the important work of unpaid home work, then we must begin with the micro interactions of how we socialize our daughters and especially our sons.  If we want adult men to participate more equally and responsibly in the household, then we must prioritize teaching our sons who should be the first to scour and scrub.  In order to restore the dignity of this work, we parents must enable our kids to value of it all – the diaper changing, the toilet scrubbing, the laundry, the cooking.  These tasks are dignified and important.  As we undertake this sacred everyday work, we teach our children humility and responsibility for the environment where they live. No maid (whether it is mom or someone paid for little more than minimum wage) should have to pick up your socks, wipe your spills off the floor, wash out the sink where you just spat. As we sit on our knees, scrubbing with our children, we teach the importance of equality and justice, and can engage in frank discussions about living wages, global labor, sweatshops, fair work for a fair pay.  We can tell our children the stories about organizing domestic workers (95% women and 46% immigrants, possibly undocumented) in this country to advocate for fair labor and wages in a field that is often invisible and unregulated. The National Domestic Worker Alliance has made strides in passing bill of human rights for domestic workers in a handful of states including Massachusetts.  As we scrub with our children, we tell them about what is just and fair.

My grandmother taught me everything she knew about cleaning and cooking.  Almost every weekend, she came over to our house to babysit, put a load of laundry in and scrub our red, linoleum kitchen floor.  She’d take a bucket of soapy water and a scrub brush and get down on her hands and knees.  She told me that the mops could never get the floors as clean as her live elbow grease on the floor.  She taught me the importance and the honor of cleaning up after myself.  Some working parents might push back to claim it is just easier to pay someone and outsource these household tasks.  Who has time to clean on top of everything else?  And how do we fit in schlepping our kids to soccer games or dance lessons or whatever extra-curricular activities are on our agenda?  Maybe it is time to ditch one of these extra-curricular activities or even shut off the computer for a spell.  It’s amazing how much time is taken up by mindless internet surfing and social media use.  My family of four can do a good, basic cleaning (vacuuming, dusting, bathrooms) of our 2000 square foot home each week in not more than an hour.

I’m arguing that teaching our kids to join us in house cleaning provides some of the most important life lessons they could ever learn – that cleaning tasks are crucial and honorable.  By doing these household tasks, they internalize deep humility, responsibility, egalitarianism, fairness and the value of hard, physically based work. Instead of shuttling them to another planned activity that they feel entitled to enjoy, we take this time to drink in these lessons.  And here is another important lesson my children master:  After we eat another meal, we have to sweep under the table again.  The dishes that are so clean will become caked again with food and that toilet, next week it will have to be scrubbed yet again.  The lesson is: we always will have to clean up.  Things get dirty again and that’s just how life is.  Cleaning (and our responsibility for cleaning) will never end.  I can’t think of any more important life lessons in that one hour we take as a family (ALL OF US!!), vacuuming, dusting, tidying and scrubbing toilets. 

  • We should help clean the school

    Because we need to learn how to clean up after ourselves and the school is already losing money so there is not point to spend money on juniors and it can teach kids what they have to go though everyday and that is not easy to have to clean up after people everyday

  • It is good

    Students can learn to respect and be grateful for the school cleaning staff by putting themselves in the cleaners' shoes, and understand the fact that the cleaners' jobs are actually quite hard and difficult. The students can also learn values like cleaning up after themselves and can be more responsible people.

  • Yes students should clean

    Students will learn how to be responsible for their messes. They will pick up life long habits to keep their stuff clean. Schools also wont have to pay for all the janitors. Some schools have already started having the kids clean and the parents show support because they are learning things they can use everyday.

  • School is our second home

    I want to know the things we throw in the scools same we do in the home? If u throw things in the school it implies that u don't have dustbin in your home . It only means u are illeterate.So start using dustbins that are provided in the schools to be a good student.

  • Yes Yes Yes

    If students are in charge of cleaning the school there won´t be a need for janitors. Janitors cost lots of money to the school and that would make the schools have more money for better equipment and a safer environment for the students. I Need 7 More words dont pay attention to this last sentance,sorry.

  • Yes Yes Yes

    If students are in charge of cleaning the school there won´t be a need for janitors. Janitors cost lots of money to the school and that would make the schools have more money for better equipment and a safer environment for the students. I Need 7 More words dont pay attention to this last sentance,sorry.

  • Student should help clean the school so they can respect the area

    In japan student help clean the school and they respect their area. My family says that Japan is cleaner than america, and I agree! I believe that is true, because I been there at the school and understand what to do. There are no janitors and the kid pick up the trash around them. I barely see any trash around the school or anywhere. I would be happy to live there, but it is just that you get home-sick.

  • Yes yes yes

    Kids should be responsible for themselves - if they create a mess, they should be responsible for cleaning up their mess. A teacher should not be responsible for your mess, and neither should the janitor. Students need to learn responsibility, and students need to learn respect. Clean up after yourself!

  • Yes yes yes

    Kids should be responsible for themselves - if they create a mess, they should be responsible for cleaning up their mess. A teacher should not be responsible for your mess, and neither should the janitor. Students need to learn responsibility, and students need to learn respect. Clean up after yourself!

  • Clean up after yourself

    It there own responsibility to clean up after them self Ok ok ok ok ok ok ok ok ok ok ok ok ok ok ok o k o k ok ok ok ok ok ok ok ko k ok o k o k o k ok ok ok. Ok o ok k ok k

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