Too Young for Marriage

For the past several weeks, I’ve had my eye on the large sunflower blooming in the Preschool 4s garden.  I witnessed the early stages when the teacher painstakingly watered and protected the seedling from its natural predators.  Once a small fence was installed, it began to grow rapidly.  I could tell early on that it . . . Read More


Stop, Drop, Roll

It’s been an epic week in the Toddler 1s class with a curriculum that has lit a fire of interest (pun intended) in the minds of our youngest Seeds.  They’ve been exploring vehicles and have had guest visitors pull their large machines into the playground for a close-up experience.  A family Jeep and a Kubota . . . Read More


Footprints in the Mud

One morning on the playground a student ran up to me and announced that there were animal tracks in the mud under a tree.  I wandered over to check them out, and sure enough, there was plenty of proof that we’d had a four-legged visitor, or visitors.  My first guess was that it might be . . . Read More


Ten Years

Monday, March 15th, marked the ten-year anniversary of my breast cancer diagnosis.  It happened over spring break in 2011 on my first-born child’s birthday.  It was a surreal day, and one that significantly altered the course of my life.  I had “the good kind” of cancer, ductal carcinoma in situ, and managed to get through . . . Read More


Can I Draw Myself White?

Our planned conversation about Dr. Seuss books was postponed until after spring break.  It’s a topic our entire lead staff is interested in, particularly as we develop curriculum that supports social justice.  We needed more time, and I have confidence that it will be a robust conversation when it happens.   In the mean time, other . . . Read More


Submarine Pickup

On Monday morning, as we were starting another week by conducting health checks on the curb, the father of one of our virtual preschoolers arrived.  “I’m here to pick up the submarine.”  The request caught my attention, as it’s not a typical pickup of materials.  Usually materials picked up for students still learning at home . . . Read More


On Solid Ground

It’s been a good year for peas.  All along the sidewalk on the south side of the building, tall vines are loaded with white blossoms and forming pea pods.  Peas are one of most popular crops in Seed gardens, and they rarely make it into the building.  As soon as each pod grows full of . . . Read More


Ally

Every year our studies around social justice manifest in an organically unique way.  There’s always a plan, and what actually happens emerges totally from the kids.  Last weekend I was talking with one of my former 2nd graders, who is now a young mom, and she said, “I know you’re really into social justice right . . . Read More


Assessing Where We Are

We’ve hit another point in the year when we take time to assess each child, then create documentation and a space to talk about it with parents.  It’s typically a challenging time for the teachers, and this year holds another layer of complication, due to COVID-19.   Assessments look different, depending on the age of . . . Read More


Showing Up Rain or Shine

A winter storm blasted through Phoenix on Monday, ripping three screens off our office windows and leaving piles of white precipitation scattered around the playground.  I learned later that there is a special name for this precipitation, graupel.   Graupel is described as “water that accumulates on snow above the ground, then freezes and creates . . . Read More


Cracking Open Who You Are

What I’ve always loved about this time of year as a teacher is the opportunity to explore human rights issues with children.  Even though I haven’t been in the classroom for over ten years, I manage to keep my fingers in the pie, so to speak.  It’s one of the most organic parts of my . . . Read More


Growing into Goodness

Yesterday was another day of challenging news, and although I’ve vowed to give myself some space from all of the listening and reading, I’m having a hard time staying away from it.  I want to know what’s going on in the world.  I want to be informed so I can be a better teacher, leader, . . . Read More


What Am I Marching For?

The other day I noticed this beautiful sunflower on the verge of blooming.  Two bees were scurrying about in the center where seeds will eventually form.  It was perfect timing for a day early in the new year.  Months before this moment of unfurling, I devoted considerable time and energy to protecting the seedling that . . . Read More


Winding Down An Unusual Year

Under normal circumstances, this week would have been a high energy time around the Seed.  We’d be putting final touches on the dances each class was about to present on Thursday night in our Celebration of the Winter Solstice.  Dances would be unveiled on Wednesday morning at the dress rehearsal where we were all dazzled . . . Read More


Another Light Gone

Over the years I’ve often written of my third grade teacher who made such an impact on me as a young child.  As I grew older, there was another teacher, Jim Fraser.  He was my math teacher in junior high and high school.  As I read over some of the memories posted about him on . . . Read More


Approaching the Solstice

Last week we were out walking in the neighborhood one evening and passed a father and his daughter in the process of setting up their holiday lights.  We could tell they were a team.  We commented how beautiful their lights were, and the dad said, “She’s in charge.  It’s all her idea.”  It was clear . . . Read More


Be Safe, Be Well

Normally on this day we’d be hustling around, setting up tables, plugging in the warmer, and preparing for our all-school feast.  The building would be filled with unbelievably mouth watering smells, and aluminum containers would be lined up for the eventual food service lines.  Eventually families would start arriving, and after a large gathering in . . . Read More


The Problem with Thanksgiving

It’s a week before Thanksgiving, and we hit a record 92 degrees on Tuesday.  Hardly anything surprises me these days.  In addition to the unusual weather, it’s a time of profound change, both externally and internally.  Certain world events have triggered profound changes in myself, one of the most significant being the killing of George . . . Read More


Seasoned Warriors

Wednesday was Veterans Day.  I held my own personal celebration by calling my 95-year-old father, Jim Kenner.  He’s a veteran and continues to be involved in his local American Legion post.  In fact, he was the recipient of a 75-year continuous service pin in March, right before the pandemic hit.  We were able to be . . . Read More


In Light of These Times

The last sentence of my previous blog reads, “We are the Seed after all, and our work will always be to reach toward the light.”  I thought of this Wednesday morning with all the weight of uncertainly around the election, the growing number of COVID-19 cases on the planet, and the daily responsibility of making . . . Read More


Passing by Lovely Gardens

 A favorite part of my day is pickup between 3 and 3:20.  Over time, my task has become walking children from their classrooms on the south side of the building to their parents waiting at the gate.  It’s a time to connect with certain children I don’t normally see throughout the day.  Some students are . . . Read More


In Lieu of Halloween

 As the months keep adding up since the pandemic began, it’s easy to slide into the mindset of focusing on what we’ve lost.  I struggle with this daily, and all of it is making many of us feel incredibly tired.  Yet we press on, showing up every day to serve our students, support each other, and . . . Read More


Opening the Space

 Teal colored chairs and tables arrived around the same time as the students.  After many months of virtual learning, we opened the space for more of our elementary and preschool students to return to in-person schooling.  We were aware of the risks of adding more students to our classrooms, and it was time.  Keeping in . . . Read More


A Way to Survive

Over the years I’ve come to love this time of year when summer is (mostly) behind us and we shift our gaze toward autumn.  We’ve been in school almost two months, and it’s time for parent/teacher conferences.  After conferences we typically begin gearing up for our annual Halloween carnival.  COVID-19 has drastically changed everything, and . . . Read More