It was dusk. Wednesday, the last day of the regular school year, was coming to a close. It was a full day, filled with awards, celebrations, graduation, and all the emotions that go with completion and letting go. There was a surplus of both cheers and tears. Although it was hot, our end-of-the-year party went mostly without a hitch. The food was delicious, the indoor setup with tables was a hit, and the waterslides provided a thrilling finale to our 2015-2016 year. As the sun drifted below the horizon, well after our ending time of 7:00, just a few tasks remained before heading home. One was turning over the pots in the sand circle so they wouldn’t hold water over the weekend. It’s a practice we’ve had in place for awhile, to discourage mosquitoes from thinking the Seed is a good place to set up residency.
I started turning over pots and dumping out those left full from water play. I asked a few kids to help. At first they said no thanks, then ended up offering their assistance after all. In no time, all pots were face down in the sand. It was such a small act, turning the pots. Yet, I thought about it later and it seemed like an important metaphor for something I see around the Seed all the time. I’ve been thinking about it ever since and here’s what I’ve come up with:
Running a school is full of small tasks that examined separately might seem insignificant. Many revolve around safety, I’m finding, and nobody seems to notice them until there’s a problem. It takes a fine tuned eye to stay on top of these small tasks, whether it’s in the office with student files, maintaining the playground, filling cracks in the parking lot, or noticing subtle ways children interact with each other. They are thankless small tasks done because they need to be done; certainly not for the glory.
As we bring closure to the Seed’s 39th year, I want to take this opportunity to thank all the staff, parents, and children who have kept an eye out for the small jobs that need to be done, and then following through. It’s a good practice in doing something for the sake of doing it, because it helps the greater good. If more humans did this for the planet, we’d all be in a better place. So here’s to the pot turners of the world. May we all do just a little bit more, without being asked, because it’s the right thing to do.