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


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


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


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


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 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


Back Stories

Last Friday was a big step for our Seed community to begin spending time together again.  Our tie-dye and tile painting event was a huge success on several levels.  It had been two years since we’d held the event, and it took us awhile with the tie-dye part to pull everything together.  The night before . . . Read More


Argiope Aurantia

I spent last week in the small town in Nebraska where I grew up.  Although the days were warm, autumn was in the air.  None of the trees were turning colors yet, and the greenery in front of my parents’ house was plentiful.  Near the driveway was a plant that had poofy white flowers that . . . Read More


Lifelong Foodies

I write this week’s blog from rural Nebraska, where I’m staying for a few days, helping out with my parents.  I collected classroom stories about our nutrition study before I left, and lots of wonderful food experiences have happened since I left.  My intention in writing about the study is to give you a bit . . . Read More


What Gives Me Hope

Thursday morning a coyote crossed my path on my morning walk, just as I was listening to a conversation where the participants were sharing quotes that inspire hope.  Here’s one of the quotes: “People say, what is the sense of our small effort? They cannot see that we must lay one brick at a time, . . . Read More


Come Through

On Sunday we received news that our long time friend, Deborah Cox, passed away.  Deborah and her family have been a part of the Seed’s history for decades.  Prior to retirement, she served as the assistant director of the ASU Center for the Study of Race and Democracy.  It was through Deborah and her family . . . Read More