A Grand Event

On Monday the Seed grandparents gathered once again.  Over twenty arrived for the beginning of our fourth year as an organized group.  During introductions we met grandparents new to the Seed and caught up with familiar friends who have been around the school for a long time (including one grandmother whose daughters are Seed graduates).  . . . Read More


Red Threads

The red threads captured my attention.  During one of my summer morning walks, I heard an interview with Marcus Buckingham. He described his life long obsession with helping others improve the quality of their workplace experience.  The interview held my attention, yet there was nothing extraordinary in the conversation until he brought up the red threads. . . . Read More


Trimming the Duck’s Feet

I walked into the K-1 this just as a duck was having her feet trimmed.  In preparation for their upcoming production of Crocodile Beat by Gail Jorgensen, one of the ducks was with her teacher, having a costume fitting.  On the table behind them was a pile of handmade costumes and props, including a crocodile . . . Read More


Our Village Baby

I’ve been sitting on this story for almost a month now.  My hesitation for writing it has many layers, not the least of which is it’s a deeply personal story, and I try to keep relatively clear boundaries between my personal and professional lives, especially with my blog.  There have been exceptions, though, and in . . . Read More


Congruent with Who We Are

As this fourth week of summer camp comes to a close, the word “congruent” surfaces in my mind.  Congruent means to be in agreement or in harmony.  It comes from the Latin verb Congruere “to come together, correspond with.”   All week long I’ve seen evidence of congruency in action. When we developed our plan for . . . Read More


Saving Seeds

Harvesting seeds is no easy task, especially for three-year-old fingers. In case you’re unfamiliar with kale, broccoli, cauliflower, and cilantro seeds, they’re about the size of a small pin head. They mostly grow in long thin pods that only crack open easily when they are dry. There’s a purpose behind the tediousness of harvesting tiny . . . Read More


Seed’s Little Blue

When I was a child growing up in rural Nebraska, the Little Blue River meandered through our town.  It was more brown (from the mud) than blue.  The Little Blue is a sleepy river, except during the occasional rainy season when its banks overflow.  A few years ago it wiped out one of the main bridges . . . Read More


Teamwork for a Cause

Last week I described potential plans and activities happening on and around Earth Day at the Seed.  One project in particular took on a life of its own.  The Preschool 4s’ campaign to help the African Wildlife Foundation has become a school-wide effort, thanks to the generosity of parents, as well as their baking talents.  . . . Read More


Activists Every Day

We’re doing Earth Day differently this year.  Usually we pick one issue—such as plastic bags, throwaway straws, or endangered species—and make it a whole school theme.  We decide how to address the issue within each classroom, then report back to the whole group on Earth Day.  This year, since such varied authentic learning is happening . . . Read More


Air Inequality

Since returning from India, I’ve thought about air quality.  A lot.  It was one part of the trip for which I was unprepared.  I managed to escape the common digestive tract illness most people contract while traveling, but ended up coming home with a nasty case of bronchitis.  As a result, I’ve appreciated the clean . . . Read More


A History of Flowers

On my way home the other day, I noticed a yellow sign next to the Circle K at the corner of 40th Street and Baseline.  I hadn’t seen it before and realized it was a marker for something that had been near and dear to my heart years ago, the Japanese flower gardens.  Long before . . . Read More


For Anybody and Everybody

It’s impossible for me to see wild geese and not think of Mary Oliver.  High above the Platte River on a wintry Nebraska day or passing through the desert at the change of seasons, the wild geese are poetry in action.  These words at the end of Oliver’s most famous poem, “Wild Geese,” have sustained me . . . Read More


Back to the Grind

Returning after winter break is always a mixed bag of feelings.  On one hand, it seems like we just get used to a more open schedule, then it’s time to get back to our school routine.  I know I wasn’t the only one feeling this on our first day back.  Several parents used the phrase . . . Read More


On a Moonlit Night

Wednesday morning we had our first glimpse of this year’s version of the Seed’s Celebration of the Winter Solstice.  Stuffed into the multi with the dance area configuration taped to the carpet, one by one each class presented its dance for this year’s performance.  The book we picked, upon which the performance is based, is . . . Read More


When Teaching Is a Calling

We’ve been observing in classrooms lately, as part of our annual teacher evaluation process.  Included are a classroom observation, answering a few questions via email, and an in-person follow-up meeting.  Our intention is to acknowledge the wonderful things going on in a classroom, give specific feedback about what is observed, and choose areas for future . . . Read More


Pile of Temptation

You may have noticed the collection of stars posted on our office bulletin board.  Beneath the stars is a growing pile of toys, pillows, basketballs, and children’s pajamas.  Tucked under the table is a brand new child’s bike.  So many gifts are arriving that we’ve opened up an additional table space to hold the incoming . . . Read More


Multi Tasking

We have a small box we open only at this time of year.  It contains gaffers tape, a map, and a six foot segment of ribbon with a tiny piece of yellow chalk tied to the end.  It might seem like an odd, insignificant little collection of things, but in reality, it’s quite foundational to . . . Read More


Modern Elder

On Sunday we gathered in the desert to celebrate the life of Ralph Peterson, our longtime friend, colleague, and mentor.  Nestled in the San Tan Mountains south of Queen Creek, in the adobe home Ralph and friends built with their own hands, we enjoyed a blue sky afternoon that couldn’t have been more perfect for . . . Read More


Gratitude in the Air

In the past few days I’ve noticed people mingling outside the 3rd/4th grade classroom.  Finally I walked down the hallway to check out what was going on.  The class created a giant bingo display with an act of kindness in each section.  Anyone interested in participating is invited to sign their name in a section . . . Read More


Marvelous Real

As an alum of Arizona State University, I often receive ASU publications.  One arrived last week that caught my eye.  On the cover was a delightful photo of Alberto Ríos, an ASU professor, Arizona’s first poet laureate from 2013-15, and a former Seed parent.  I read the engaging article about Alberto, his life, and his work . . . Read More


A Void in Our Crowded Place

On Friday morning, as the hustle and bustle of carnival setup was transpiring, I received news that my longtime mentor and friend, Ralph Peterson, passed on from this world.  It was fitting that he left us on the same day as the carnival.  Ralph and his wife Georgia attended many Seed carnivals over the years.  . . . Read More


A Not So Silent Auction

On Friday the 2018 carnival will be in full force.  Months of preparation will come to fruition for the Seed’s big Halloween event.  The bounce houses will be installed, desserts will be arranged in delicious piles, and lines will form all evening for this year’s Mystery Theater performance of I Need My Monster.  Racks of kid-decorated . . . Read More


Hanging Out with the Monsters

When the carnival starts next Friday night, you won’t see me right away.  I’ll be hanging out backstage with the monsters.  You see, for the past 31 years, I’ve been one of the Mystery Theater players.  We’re a dedicated band of hooligans (also Seed staff members) who enjoy making people laugh.   The Mystery Theater . . . Read More


It’s Carnival Season

There are few traditions as well established as our annual Halloween carnival.  It’s a labor of love by many people in our Seed village, and it happens close to the beginning of the new school year.  For new families, it can seem like information overload.  I’m writing this to highlight a few components of the . . . Read More