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


It’s About Time

On Wednesday afternoon I sat in the dark on the floor in the toddler room, holding the last wakeful child.  All of her classmates were sound asleep.  She was quiet, yet not ready to surrender to nap time.  I began rocking her gently, and she soon drifted off to sleep.  As I held her, I . . . 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


Public Transportation

I had a flashback on Tuesday morning.  Seeing the K-1 class with teachers and parents waiting at the bus stop on 40th Street, brought me back to the earliest years of the Seed when we had only a handful of young children.  It was the late 70s, and the father of one of our students . . . 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


A Wider Lens

The heart of India has been calling me for a long time.  On Thursday evening, I’ll board a British Airways flight for the adventure of my lifetime.  For the next sixteen days I’ll be traveling with a friend through parts of India and Nepal.  I’ve spent this past year preparing for the journey, and it . . . 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


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


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


Seed Sale

It was a plane that derailed my plans for this week’s blog.  I fully intended to describe the many wonderful food experiences happening around the Seed as part of our school-wide nutrition study.  I was going to write about the incredible smells, the scent of pizza, beans, and pesto that permeated the hallway.  I aimed . . . Read More


seedfood tour

 In honor of our all-school nutrition study, this week’s blog will be a tour of our seedfood website.  The site came into being several years ago when the lead teachers gathered for a discussion about developmentally appropriate food practices.  Starting with an article on this topic, we talked about how much children should be expected . . . Read More


Lunch with Less Plastic

This photo may seem familiar to some of you.  It’s a closeup of one week’s lunch trash we collected last spring.  I thought it was worth revisiting.  Each September of a new school year, we devote two weeks to our all-school nutrition study.  What started as a teacher conversation about developmentally appropriate food practices with . . . 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


90 on the 26th

On June 26th, my mom turned 90.  She lives far away and I won’t see her until later this summer.  When we asked her how she wanted to celebrate this major milestone, she said she didn’t want a big party.  Instead she said, “I want to celebrate all summer long.”  As a family, we’ve granted . . . Read More


Beautiful Mornings

As we approach the summer solstice, it’s that time of year when temperatures rise.  I notice that the number of comments about the heat also rises.  A few weeks ago, one of my yoga teachers brought up this very topic.  She continued by saying that we live here in the desert by choice, and the . . . Read More


Transitions

In the past week we’ve experienced more transitions at the Seed than at any other time of the year.  Last Wednesday we held graduation for our oldest students.  It was a time of celebration, and a time of letting go.  As a community we brought closure with families that have been a part of the Seed . . . Read More