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


May We Be

On Saturday we held the annual retreat for our Seed board of directors.  I don’t often write about the board, since our work is primarily behind the scenes.  The board is a guardian of the Seed, looking out for everything from the annual budget to the school’s long range vision.  Primarily Seed parents, either current or . . . Read More


All Coming Together

On the playground earlier this week, I noticed a group of children being super creative.  Standing near the toddler fence, several preschoolers and a first grader were tossing balls back and forth to the toddlers on the other side.  It was a simple game, yet it demonstrated the cohesive community that is forming between children . . . Read More


Why Tie-dye?

It’s shaping up to be a year of reviewing the history of certain Seed events.  Tie-dye day is at the top of the list.  I’ve looked over my blogs about tie-dye, written since 2012, and each one takes a slightly different slant on the event.  One year looked at it as a rite of passage, . . . Read More


How Does It Feel to Share?

This week I took one whole morning to visit every single class.   I asked the teachers how things were going in general and what they needed in terms of equipment and support.  The needs covered everything from replacing soap dispensers to ordering extra shelves.  Across the board, everyone seemed pleased with the challenging process . . . Read More


A Beginning with Intention

When I teach young writers, one of the first things we work on is topic selection.  We discuss how the challenge isn’t usually having something to write about, it’s deciding which of many topics to choose.  That’s how I feel about this summer.  In the six weeks since I wrote my last blog, I’ve walked . . . Read More


In Preparation for Flight

Baby birds are everywhere these days.  Little ducklings swim in the canal where I walk in the mornings.  Our backyard garden regularly hosts quail families, as the parent birds tutor their young in the fine art of foraging.  Just last week I witnessed several tiny balls of fuzz attached to legs scurrying across our back . . . Read More


Thanks, Parents

We’ve been showered lately.  Not with spring rains bringing relief from rising temperatures, but with gifts of kindness and generosity.  Last week was Teacher Appreciation Week, and it felt like a birthday or holiday season.  I was touched by the sweet gifts, messages, and cards I received from many of our parents, and I’m not even . . . Read More


Holding Space

 Forty-one years ago I signed on to bring forth a school, which has now become Awakening Seed.  I was 25 years old at the time, just barely an adult.  I made the commitment because I knew it was the right thing to do.  I had two young daughters then, and I wanted them to have . . . Read More