Shedding A School

Monday morning presented a reminder of why I still teach kids to be writers.  It was a story about Jimmy Breslin who died on Sunday.  Breslin, 88, was a Pulitzer Prize winning journalist who wrote a column for the New York Daily News.  He was known for his empathetic stories toward the working class.  One . . . Read More


Ancestral Archives

It’s snowing this morning in rural Nebraska as I think of my friends, family, and colleagues in Arizona warming up to 90 degree temperatures.  I’m here checking in on my parents for a few days.  Each time I return to the town where I grew up it’s a dip into my ancestral archives.  Sometimes it . . . Read More


An Education for Life As Global Citizens

The Seed Grandparents Group is alive and well.  We met on Monday for a presentation and, at their request, a potluck.  It’s always so gratifying to be among this group.  Previously we met and made a list of potential topics for discussion.  One request was to talk about what we do at the school to . . . Read More


The Kindness Diaries

After a quiet three-day weekend, it was especially heartwarming to return to the Seed.  This time of year when spring is deciding whether or not “winter” is over is particularly delightful.  With warmer early mornings, activity options expand.  A small group of toddlers learning to blow bubbles on Tuesday morning demonstrated this point.  Eight young . . . Read More


Voices from the Paint Jar

At first glance, the name of our summer art camp might seem odd.  If you lean into it for a bit, I think you’ll understand.  Our intention for the summer is to provide an arts program for children that invites creativity and self-expression.  Additionally, this year we’ve included a social justice piece, as we explore . . . Read More


Up Close and Personal

On my walk this morning, I heard the writer Elizabeth Gilbert  quote her mom in a podcast.  She said, “The big picture is in the details.”  She was talking about the way in which the bigger view of a situation can be revealed in the details of a story.  It seemed applicable for this week . . . Read More


Let the Stories Begin

As I write this, teachers and parents are engaged already in midyear conferences.  The amount of preparation that goes into these conferences is significant.   Lead teachers do most of the work and there are additional layers of staff support that round out the process.  It’s a major wave of stories documented and preserved for . . . Read More


Voices Near and Far

It’s been a week of hearing voices, and not the kind that might question a person’s sanity.  On Saturday, I drove down to the state capitol to participate in the march.  I didn’t go with the intention of protesting against anyone or anything, I simply wanted to be there and be a part of it.  . . . Read More


And the Conversation Continues…

I’d like to say something about the teachers.  I mentioned last week our meeting to discuss how we could expand our conversation about race, culture and diversity.  I didn’t realize at the time how quickly they would take it to heart.  This week conversations have been popping up all over the school, many inspired by Dr. . . . Read More


A Curriculum for All

At our staff meeting on Monday, the lead teachers sat together to take a closer look at what we do at the Seed to promote diversity.  Utilizing materials from Teaching Tolerance (http://www.tolerance.org), an educational project of the Southern Poverty Law Center, we began with these two questions for each teacher: How do you incorporate culture . . . Read More


Go High

I’ll admit, it was good to have a break.  We traveled to the ocean for a few days and I caught up on my sleep.  I didn’t make as much progress cleaning out my art room, but I did finish a writing project that had been looming.  It was a good time to pause and . . . Read More


Whoever You Are

Seed magic was alive and well last night.  Onstage for the first time in South Mountain High School’s auditorium, our Seeds put on a show that warmed hearts, dazzled eyes, delighted ears, and offered a message of hope.  With Mem Fox’s book Whoever You Are (http://memfox.com/books/whoever-you-are/) as a starting point, one-year-olds through 4th graders danced . . . Read More


Keep Moving It Forward

Everything changed a month ago and I’m still regaining my footing.  It hasn’t been easy and I know, in comparison to a vast majority of people on the planet, my life is blessed.  I know the shift that needs to happen is within and that’s where my focus lies these days.  Looking for inspiration last night . . . Read More


There’s Always Dirt

This week Gwen’s Castle and its outlying area became an art gallery.  Inspired by the work of Andy Goldsworthy, a British artist who works with nature to create his art, the 3rd/4th graders made their own sculptures and arrangements.  This project was part of the Seed’s Art Masterpiece program, where parent volunteers present a lesson . . . Read More


Not So Random Acts of Kindness

Fifty-three years ago on November 22, the President of the United States was assassinated.  I was twelve years old.  All weekend we sat glued to the TV, watching John F. Kennedy’s family grieve in public.  Seeing JFK’s young children say goodbye to their father was one of the most heartbreaking scenes I’d witnessed thus far . . . Read More


What Is True?

When faced with a situation that feels problematic, I often rely on a simple question:  What is true?  Of course this is a tricky question because everyone has their own truth.  So perhaps a better question would be:  From my perspective, what is true?  I find that just asking this question slows down my racing . . . Read More


The Sun Will Rise Again

On Tuesday morning, the day of America’s notorious election, I took my daily walk.  For a brief moment I gazed at the sky to see a cloud formation that reminded me of Arizona’s flag.  At that particular time I wasn’t even thinking about the election, I was reflecting on a fleeting but meaningful friendship I’d . . . Read More


be strong. be courageous. be the light.

There was a major oversight in last week’s blog.  After composing an extensive list of all the people who contributed to the carnival’s success, I missed one of the most important people, one so obvious I totally missed him.  Bill.  For many of the tasks, we would also include his sidekick in maintenance, Richard. If . . . Read More


Sweet Lesson in Service

Halloween is a sweet time of year, and I’m not talking candy.  Certainly it’s sweet when the temperatures fall below 100, even if it’s just barely in double digits.  It’s fun to hear the kids talk excitedly about their Halloween costumes and what they plan to do at the carnival.  As I wrote last week, . . . Read More


Zombie Love

Without fail, the same thing occurs between our September teacher work day and the annual Seed Halloween carnival.  Regardless of who’s on the staff, it happens every year.   It involves wacky costumes, glasses with noses, ridiculous jokes, creativity, and imagination.  It’s a tradition that dates back to circa 1986, called the Mystery Theater.  Started by Mike . . . Read More


A Kindhearted One

My circle of elders is dwindling.  As of Sunday evening, the circle is minus one more.  Marilyn Russell, age 93, passed peacefully from this world.  Marilyn was the mom across the street, the mom who pulled our wiggly teeth, the mom who made us feel like she loved us as much as her own kids.  She made . . . Read More


Eggplant in Aleppo

Sunday was the perfect day to plant a garden.  In the morning it rained and later in the day it happened again.  By the time I was ready to plant my seeds, the soil held just the right amount of moisture.  The sky was full of dramatic cloud formations and by late afternoon, the light . . . Read More


Good Job

I invite you this week to try an experiment.  What I’m asking you to observe is a growing phenomenon that we talk about often at the Seed.  This topic has been on my list for awhile, and I’ve hesitated writing about it because I don’t want to offend anyone.  I don’t want any of my . . . Read More


A Colorful Equinox

A colorful equinox is a given this year.  Sandwiched between our vibrant nutrition study and Halloween is one of my favorite Seed events, tie-dye day.  Some of us scheme all year about our next tie-dye projects.  Others, looking upon it admiringly from a distance, have never actually done tie-dye.   A few won’t touch it and . . . Read More