On Friday I was ready to write about the beautiful poster all the classes created in honor of Earth Day that included the phrase, “We’ve got the whole world in our hands.” I thought I’d also say something about the sweet all-school celebration we had in the multipurpose room. Soft spoken representatives from each class stood up and said what they loved best about the earth. I certainly would have added a line about the exuberance with which the kids sang “Lean on Me.” However, as often happens at the Seed, I walked out of my office just as a surprising visitor arrived. It wasn’t one of our grown-up alumni popping in for a walk down memory lane or a grandparent in town for a spring visit. It was a 50 pound tortoise named Two.
Two arrived with his owner, the father of one of our toddlers. After pausing for a few minutes by the front door, he was carried out to the playground for the toddlers and others to check out. He loved the grass and was a good sport about all the small fingers eager to touch his amazing shell. He then made a guest Earth Day appearance in the Toddler 2s class before venturing back out to the grass for more grazing. He blended into the day as if he were just another member of the Seed community.
As I think about Earth Day and all it means personally, to our school and to all of humanity, I feel blessed to be involved in work that I know is having and will continue to have an impact on our planet. I love being part of a vision that includes opportunities for toddlers to touch a tortoise shell and older kids to be aware of the value of solar panels. I’m aware of the uniqueness of a PreK class where students have the chance to discuss what they are thankful for and come up with responses such as, “We thank the earth for supporting intelligent life.” These days when many children and teachers are crammed into small joyless classrooms without windows, it’s a great honor to be a part of a place where curiosity is fostered and being creative is the norm. As these children grow up, unleashing their inquisitiveness and talents into all aspects of their lives, I believe they will remember the conversations about The Great Pacific Garbage Patch, the importance of bringing their lunches in reusable containers, and why composting matters. I trust that they will know what to do to be innovative, intelligent adult stewards of the planet, just as they are as children. I, for one, plan to devote the remainder of my life to ensuring that this happens, on Earth Day and every day.