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


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


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


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


Ant Alert

I can’t help myself.  When I see ants, I think of PreK.   During these summer months, there is no shortage of opportunities for such sitings.  For example, I  recently spotted a colony aggressively partaking of a discarded roadside piece of pepperoni pizza.  There were easily 200 ants on the 4-bite size of pizza.   . . . 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


Climbing Trees

I was a child who inhabited trees. The property around our neighborhood was full of mature trees that provided multiple sites for treehouses. Some were built by professionals who knew what they were doing. Others were kid-built and, thinking back, I’m surprised my parents allowed us to hang out so high off the ground in . . . 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


Four PhD’s and a Veterinarian

It’s been a dramatic week, with the Preschool 4s presenting their version of The Great Kapok Tree.  They performed the play in celebration of their rainforest study, which is coming to an end.  It’s been inspiring to see four- and five-year-olds entering the building these past few months with their handmade posters, ready to make . . . 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


Such A Friend

On Saturday I attended a memorial service for Dr. Joan Moyer, my first ASU professor in early childhood education.  It was 1975, and I was a recently divorced single mom finally accepting the fact that I was destined to be a teacher, like the previous four generations of women in my family.  I’d already dropped . . . Read More