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


Time for A Plan

I don’t remember a time when using our voices has seemed so important.  There’s much to sort through as we move toward an election that will significantly alter the course of our country one way or another.  I have my personal opinions, of course, and what I’ve been thinking about is larger than partisan inclinations.  . . . Read More


Thank You

The sunrises have been extraordinary lately, unfortunately due to smoke that’s filtered our way from the west coast fires.  Each new morning I see another bright orange sun, I think of the people who have lost their homes, family members, and healthy air to breathe. It was shocking to read in the news yesterday that . . . Read More


The Messy Middle

A consistent presence in the kindergarten class from year to year is the hermit crab terrarium.  Hermit crabs become members of the class, providing hours of entertainment as they crawl in and out of wooden block structures constructed by five-year-olds.  What I’ve always found intriguing about hermit crabs is how they inhabit a shell, then . . . Read More


Hybrid

For many years I’ve thought of the Seed as a hybrid.  Early on, we drew on a variety of approaches to inform our practices.  In graduate school I researched Montessori, Waldorf, and embraced the Whole Language movement.  We’ve studied the constructivist approach, based on Piaget’s theory, and added Love and Logic ® to our toolbox.  . . . Read More


From the Stars

We’re now closing in on our second week of school in its new COVID-era manifestation.  I have to say I’m totally impressed with our teachers who, under incredible responsibility/stress, are making this happen for both our in-person and virtual students.  We still have refinements to make, and we are progressing.  I want to tell you . . . Read More


A Balanced Approach

We did it.  We reopened the Seed.  On Tuesday morning we were greeted by appreciative families dropping off their precious children.  Some of the kids were apprehensive about not only having their hair checked for lice as they do every first day of school, but also having their temperature taken.  Having to say goodbye to . . . Read More


Cars in the Parking Lot

 It’s been four and a half months since there were this many cars in our parking lot.  Cautiously the Seed staff has returned for a week of cleaning, planning, and preparing for what lies ahead.  We’ve completed CPR training and gone over COVID-19 protocols, in addition to preparing for virtual teaching along with in-person learning.  . . . Read More


Time to Wake Up

Normally we’d be on vacation right about now, looking at scenes such as this one on the Olympic Peninsula in Washington state.  We would be revitalizing ourselves by walking beaches on either coast, perhaps taking a ferry from one location to another.  There was always a body of water involved.  Last night, as we took . . . Read More


Relationships of Healing

 The warmer weather has inspired me to find a new route for my morning walks.  Through a bit of exploring, I’ve discovered some sleepy, lesser traveled streets near South Mountain that even provide a bit of shade.  At the point where I turn around, a sailboat is parked.  It’s been there awhile, and seems like . . . Read More


I Wear My Mask for You

 Earlier this week, our board of directors had to make the difficult decision to keep the Seed closed a bit longer.  We were hoping to offer a three-week summer program, to provide much-needed childcare, as well as test our projected adaptations we plan to implement in August.  Before finalizing the summer opening date, we determined . . . Read More


Getting It Right

The branches on the Seed’s apple tree are heavily weighted with dozens of apples.  I’m certain the crop is larger than usual, due to the absence of small “harvesters” this year.  The tree is also maturing, and capable of producing more.  The apples seem symbolic of the weight upon us at this time in history, . . . Read More


Cultivating Resilience

Two weeks ago I wrote about our efforts as a staff to do what’s best for kids.  I keep thinking about this topic, and a related one—children’s mental health.  Daily I see articles about this subject, and have concerns that, amidst the focus on academic learning time lost, the mental health piece is not being addressed . . . Read More


Reading the Wind

It’s that time of year when everything at school winds down.  Teachers are writing progress reports and making awards.  Ceremonies of completion and graduation are being planned.  Teachers are organizing students’ materials to take home as a record of the past ten months.  The one big difference this year is that none of the festivities . . . Read More


In Celebration of Awakeners

My third grade teacher, Marie Peithman, received me for exactly who I was.  She was a breath of fresh air after a second grade tyrant who made me stand on tiptoes with my nose in a chalk-drawn circle on the board, just for talking.  Mrs. Peithman was kind, and had appropriately high expectations.  I remember . . . Read More


Tomorrow’s Yesterday

When I was a kid, May 1st was a day of connection.  We’d make little baskets and fill them with lilacs, popcorn, and candy, then deliver them to friends’ front doors.  It was a sweet way to remember close friends.  It’s not a practice we see around here.  And with social distancing in place, as . . . Read More


Live in a Good Way for Her

Earth Day has historically been one of the most important days of the year at Awakening Seed.  It’s an embodiment of the Seed’s mission statement:  “Awakening Seed is an innovative, compassionate learning community that inspires global citizens by fostering curiosity, celebrating uniqueness, and promoting social justice.”  This year, more than any other year, it was . . . Read More


Caring for Our Own

A devoted mother dove sits in the nest she built on a small shelf above the hose in our back yard.  She’s been there for nearly two weeks.  There were two eggs originally, and now there is one hatchling, whose eyes are still closed.  I don’t know what happened to the other one.  This mother . . . Read More


Keeping It Whole

On Tuesday morning I was over at the Seed taking photos for our upcoming yearbook project.  Evidence of spring was everywhere.  Bill has been hard at work keeping weeds at bay, and the freshly mown grass looks incredibly healthy.  A few class gardens are bursting with produce, including kale, chard, and spinach.  Sunflowers are blooming . . . Read More


Stay Open

When I returned from my trip to Nebraska, I checked out a group of mysterious cabbage-like plants in our garden.  Looking closer, I discovered underneath the lush green leaves a whole collection of tiny Brussels sprouts.   How could this be?  I do remember planting seeds months ago, but thought our rabbit visitors had wiped . . . Read More


Always Sifting Sand

Over the past several weeks I’ve been writing about the playground.  I’ve described its activities, life lessons available, and all the reasons we place so much emphasis on our  extraordinary playground.  When I saw these three toddlers gazing out onto the big playground with a student intern the other day, with their similar bikes parked . . . Read More


Bringers and Builders

 During second recess when elementary kids are on the playground, most of the older students elect to play sports.  On Monday, due to a staffing shift that day, it ended up being a free choice recess.  Several of the 3rd and 4th grade boys headed off to Gwen’s Castle.  They decided to rebuild a fort they’d . . . Read More