Lasting Impressions

I first started teaching 4th/5th grade in 1999, the year we moved into our present building.  Many students that year were kids I had as 2nd graders, so we were already well established.  As we settled into our new permanent location, we slowly created functional outdoor features.  One of our first projects was a small . . . Read More


Hope for the Planet

 It’s Earth Day, a day I  renew  my commitment to serving Planet Earth.  I’me realizing more and more that the most significant way I can be of help is to keep working with the upcoming generations who will assume stewardship of our planet.  Today’s blog is about one of those young stewards.   One of . . . Read More


Across the Universe

It’s the time of year when many classes are engaged in deep studies.  Two classes, our Early 3s and Kindergarten, have been immersed in the solar system and outer space.  As part of the study, each kindergartener was given the homework assignment of creating a project.  I love when they arrive at school with these projects, . . . Read More


A Fluttering of Writers

This morning I walked into school with one of our first graders.  Yesterday we sat together and I helped her decipher what she’d written about her family dog.  The words were mostly strung together and it was hard for her to remember what she wrote.  Eventually we sorted it out as I had her tell . . . Read More


Bricks in the Oven

 Life on the playground is a constant dance of balancing creativity, exploration, and imagination with plain old safety measures.  We look at it as a fluid process of measuring affordable risks.  We let children (except toddlers) play with sticks and bricks.  Yes, we encourage them to walk when they have sticks in their hands, and . . . Read More


Snakes and Scorpions

Earlier this week I was covering a playground shift and noticed a kindergarten student exploring the outer edges of our outdoor space.  I wandered over and decided to engage him in conversation about the cool shirt he was wearing.  It was brown with a bright green snake on it.  I asked him if he liked . . . Read More


Harsh Times

Lately I’ve struggled to find words to describe these times.  This morning a fourth grader gave me the words I needed.  In response to a classmate’s honest sharing of a poem about a difficult family situation, one student said, “Writing a poem is a way to get through harsh times.”  These are harsh times on . . . Read More


Literacy of the Heart

In a recent interview with Mark Nepo, he offered an idea I’ve been thinking about for days.  He said, “In the Middle Ages in Europe for about 300-350 years, only 10% of the European population was literate.  That means 10% of the people living in Europe at that time kept literacy for 300 years.  Whatever it . . . Read More


Girls with Dreams

I first met Elsie Moore in the late 1980s, around the time of the Challenger Space Shuttle disaster.  I remember vividly sitting at a low table with Elsie and her husband, Wade.  They were looking for a kindergarten program for their eldest son, Arthur.  She was pregnant with her third son, Allen.  As always, she was . . . Read More


Listening to Nature

During recess I noticed a child sitting by herself in the grass under a shady tree.  She seemed perfectly happy engaged in her own little world.  I approached her to check in, and was amazed at her willingness to talk.  Keep in mind, this is a child I’ve known for several years, with whom I’ve . . . Read More


Read in Color

You might notice the sticker recently adhered to the glass door of our Little Free Library.  It came with the books and materials for the READ IN COLOR program sponsored by the Little Free Library Foundation, with books provided through Southwest Human Development.  Their mission statement says: “READ IN COLOR  aims to promote the distribution . . . Read More


Student Teacher

As you might recall, a few weeks ago during my stint of substitute teaching in the 3rd/4th grade class, we embarked on a study of leaders.  Students selected someone they wanted to learn more about, researched important facts about his/her life, drew a portrait using oil pastels, wrote a poem, and found a quote from . . . Read More


A Mindful Monk

I generally keep a close eye on the sunflowers in my garden.  Several plants are blooming right now, in a wide range of colors and sizes.  I love watching the flowers form and move through all the developmental stages.  Over the years, the sunflower has been a metaphor for the stages of life.  I was . . . Read More


Baby Steps

This morning I was looking at the calendar on our office door that holds all the names of absent staff members.  In all of my 45 years of being a school leader, I’ve never seen anything like this.  Fortunately, this week we’ve had more people back, and the list each day is shorter than the . . . Read More


Gallery of Leaders

It’s been a full, challenging, yet productive week.  As Covid closes in on our little Seed community, we continue to do all we can to keep everyone safe and well.  I spent another week with the 3rd/4th graders, and our time together did not disappoint.  Instead of a blog from me this week, I wanted . . . Read More


Leaders in Training

I’ve had the privilege of subbing in the 3rd/4th grade class this week.  It’s familiar territory for me, as I spent quite a few years teaching 4th/5th graders in this same room.  I also know the students as a result of being their writing teacher, some of them for 3-4 years.  One of my favorite . . . Read More


A Night of Wonder and Light

I knew last night was going to be extraordinary.  I just didn’t realize how extraordinary.  There was a moment right before it started that revealed a glimpse of how it might be.  It was dusk and the sky was the purplish color of twilight.  Staff members moved about quickly lighting the 600 luminarias we made, . . . Read More


A Pathway Forward

Excitement is growing for our upcoming Welcoming the Winter Solstice: Darkness to Light celebration next Thursday, December 16.  Artwork made by our students is showing up everywhere around the building, including bigger-than-life puffins and an igloo decorated with cotton balls.  Personalized six-pointed stars sparkle in the hallway, and holiday desert cacti await final touches.   . . . Read More


A New Kind of Celebration

In two weeks we will experience a new Seed event and, perhaps, tradition.  Since the 1980s we’ve celebrated the winter solstice as a universal approach to the holidays, in respect for the variety of families the Seed serves.  The original celebration included music, singing, and dancing.  Each class was responsible for preparing a dance that . . . Read More


Seed Carriers

 Last Friday the Seed was inundated with collard greens.  Cases of greens arrived along with bags of ingredients to prepare the greens for eating.  The collard greens were part of a program called The Blue Watermelon Project.  Their website describes the project in this way:  “Inspired and led by the efforts of Chef Charleen Badman of . . . Read More


Gratitude Inventory

This week has felt heavier than recent ones.  No matter how much sleep I get, or how much coffee I consume, I’m still tired.  I look forward to coming to school every day, and it still feels heavy.  Perhaps it’s true that we’re collectively experiencing pandemic fatigue.  Although some restrictions have lifted, there’s still more . . . Read More


Emergent Traditions

It’s the time of year when we start talking about the holidays, especially how to approach them in a developmentally appropriate, socially conscious way.  Actually, we’ve been in serious conversation about this for more than a year, according to my blog from a year ago.  For as long as I can remember, we’ve used The Anti-bias . . . Read More


Wobbly Mud

Occasionally I have the opportunity to leave my desk and spend time with a class.  This happened with the Prek children on Monday morning.  After a story and snack, we all headed to their outdoor classroom on a beautiful sunny day.  At first I watered the garden, simultaneously keeping an eye on the various activities . . . Read More


Creepy Characters

The hallway is a lively place this week.  Parent room reps from each class came in and decorated the doors.  A brew of ghosts and gooey stuff, pumpkins, candy corn, ghosts, creepy underwear, bats flying in front of a full moon, a giant spider, and green balloons are some of the decorations.  One class made . . . Read More