How Step One Can You Be?


In a riff on the famous ‘How Berkeley Can You Be?,’ we ask our alums, staff, family and friends to share the moments that make them stop and think “Wow, that’s so Step One.” This month, Daniel Paige, a member of our outstanding office staff (plus parent of Addie in Room One) shares his favorite Step One customs, plus gives us a peek behind the curtain at how his work keeps our school humming along.

What’s your favorite Step One tradition?

I love families’ goodbye rituals: some families have very elaborate ones. Pushing out the door is very cute. Addie, my daughter, who is in Room One this year came up with a lovely one – it’s a kissing ritual that she would do with her mom and me (Ed: photos of Addie’s ritual above). Since I’m working at Step One, after she goes to her classroom, she knows that I’m still here.

But most of the time after we did the ritual she created, she wouldn’t pay much attention to me even when she saw me. We had had our goodbye and she was into school mode, at her direction. Those rituals children and families create can be really powerful for transition.

What’s an element of your job as Step One’s Administrative Assistant that families might not know about?

My job is a little like “Who’s on First”, a big puzzle, and an air traffic controller blended into one. I do our scheduling at Step One, making sure we have the student-teacher ratios we need. Even if a teacher is out of the classroom for fifteen minutes for a meeting, we have to keep our ratios, so we have to figure out how to cover that time and manage our staffing. Between illness, meetings, and whatever else comes up, the challenge of who is going to be where, when, is what the big scheduling calendar on my desk is all about.

Those of us who do administrative work are here in service of the children, parents, and teachers. I’m glad to be part of the team making that work, the primary work, go smoothly.