If we can understand even one simple thing in depth, we will have greatly expanded our capacity for comprehending the nature of the universe and of life itself.” – David Hawkins
Designed to affect students for life, Cleaning as Practice nourishes life – love, learning, rich possibilities in educational institutions through the transformation of the simplest of activities into a rich source of learning, practice and metaphor with multiple layers of benefits for all involved. The program transforms cleaning, a daily necessity in schools, into an art, a learning experience, a therapeutic experience and a culture transforming program. As with all our Cleaning as Practice programs, there is a practical and there is a reflective aspect.
As a unique learning experience, students get involved in cleaning their own learning environment regularly.
With the participation of janitors, we work with each school to create customized schedules and cleaning tasks. Students are divided into teams or shifts so that while cleaning may happen daily, each student may clean once or twice a week as the case may be. The Janitors provide technical assistance to teachers and teams, transforming their role into an educational role. The teams and tasks will change periodically, allowing each student to work closely with every other student in the same class or in other classes. Teams will be led on a rotating basis, providing leadership opportunities to students.
We implement a feedback system whereby those who cleaned during a cleaning session receive feedback from the Janitors and those who did not clean.
Cleaning products and equipment used will be purely environmentally friendly and made or supplied in partnership with organizations in alignment with the spirit of Cleaning as Practice.
We bring participants together at agreed intervals to host conversations where the insights and questions around the cleaning experience are harvested.
Students will be encouraged to listen and be attentive to whatever surfaces internally around cleaning. They will be able to reflect on and ask wide ranging questions on the physical, mental, emotional, environmental and social aspects of cleaning as well as the practice and the metaphor of cleaning and its application to the larger world. Through cleaning, the school community and the larger society will learn from the students and the students will learn from each other.
A successful program involves setting the stage and preparing the community in advance. The eventual program will be co-created with the school community starting with a series of open conversations where students are active participants.