You know, those things we use for making coffee, stirring the tea.


I don’t like those spoons pressed out of thin metal, you the type? Round top edge, sharper harsh edge underneath; thin, light functional, but not substantial.

At my school we have a multitude of different spoons we use in the kitchen when we make our drinks. Spoons that have accumulated over the years from others kitchens. Spoons that find a place of belonging, no longer the odd one out, but part of the family where individuality isn’t a problem.
I’ve recently discovered a spoon in the collection, a spoon of weight, of balance and predictably it makes a great cup of coffee. A pleasure to use.


spoons Manuel Razzari

Image by Manuel Razzarivia Pixabay

A while ago I noticed spoons appearing on the kitchen sink; used, alone, abandoned.
The sink is immediately above the dish washer. The perfectly functional sink, with two kinds of running water, and a matching tea towel with easy reach.
I’m not sure if it’s the parent in me that bristled, or something else, but that feeling was very strong in me.

That inner voice grumbled, “Who left that spoon there for someone else to put away?”

Spoons took on a different meaning for me. It’s a term I use (mostly internally) to refer to things that are left for someone else to deal with.
It’s funny how when something grabs your attention you see it everywhere. Whether is the type of car you like, or expecting mums, when you’re going to have a baby there seem to be so many mums to be about.

Spoons was a bit like that.

I guess somehow I’ve worked out my bristling is about me, it’s my response. My value that’s being ‘transgressed’, and so my issue to take responsibility for.

Sometime later I noticed items in my building, placed up in the shelves of a communal area.

As I looked I started to remember the times they were used. The ideas behind them. Late night meetings, PDs, lessons for the students, and creative ideas.
So why were they there?

Sometimes they were left because the person who brought them was not the person putting them away. Others were things got out on the hope of using them. All things were based in good intentions for purposes of helping others.

Oh and some were my spoons too.

My definition of ‘Spoons’ has deepened to include looking at what goes on behind to encourage the spoons. When I see them on the sink, I know some are there because teacher’s minds are coming out of or getting ready for classes, rushing off to yard duty, or just can’t get access to the sink for now.

I ask myself …..

“Am I judging before asking?”

“Am I leaving spoons for others to clean up after me?”

“What do I do that might create situations where I’m leaving spoons for others?”

I wonder if ‘spoons’, like absenteeism, is a barometer for staff welfare and moral.


I still see spoons, but look a little deeper and when it’s time for a coffee, well I have a little rummage for my favourite spoon


2 thoughts on “Spoons.

  1. Hey John!
    So glad that you have a bit of time to muse. Hope your knee is improving.
    I really like this piece and can relate so well to it. When I first arrive at school I empty the dishwasher. Then when I pop in to the staffroom to make a cuppa I empty the sink and fill the dishwasher. Before I go home I generally put the dishwasher on .. oh, and I also check how much milk there is in case there’s not enough for the next day. Do I mind? Not really, the dishwasher …’is it clean or dirty?’… thing can be confusing 😊
    We do have a roster but many of our teachers are running for lines as they drain their last drop of tea or eat their last crumb of a sandwich when the bell rings. Some of our staff are so busy at break times they never make it to the staff room to take their turn to perform their duties.
    Then there’s the spoon thing. The smooth, heavy well rounded ones are always used first. Then we have cheap nasty tinny ones from Kmart that are only used in desperation – they never go missing!
    Its my guess that most staff rooms are similar. Thanks for making me smile.

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