Preparing the Ducklings

I appreciate how nature often reflects what’s going on in my everyday life.  On my morning walk this week I noticed a mother duck guiding her family of ducklings along the canal.  I could tell she was training them in the ways of the water, giving them time and opportunities to find food for themselves.  . . . Read More


A Cause for Celebration

We held our annual spring picnic on Saturday.  It ended up being a celebration of both our school and Planet Earth. Although the day was quite warm, the energy and ambiance were so extraordinary that it was easy to forgive the 90 degree temperature.  For a starter, we had live music from Dr. Jesse McGuire.  . . . Read More


For Future Planters

I’m savoring these last few days of spring.  The mornings are still cool enough that I need a long-sleeved shirt, and the evenings make me want to linger in the garden as long as there’s still light.  On Wednesday night I sat on a large flat rock near our compost pile, meticulously removing dried peas . . . Read More


Friendly Visitor

I can’t help myself from writing about the great outdoors.  It’s full of surprises, discoveries, and inspiration.  On Wednesday morning we were surprised by a visit from a neighborhood toad.  It was about the size of a medium baked potato, and didn’t seem to be in a hurry to go anywhere else.  One of the . . . Read More


Intentional Watering

From time to time a certain voice catches my attention.  Most recently it’s the voice of Christiana  Figueres, the former Executive Secretary of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change from 2010 to 2016.   She is also known for being a key figure in making the 2015 Paris Agreement possible.  Christiana had a . . . Read More


Cricket Workshop

Like most people I’ve talked with lately, my heart feels immensely heavy.  It’s the news, the level of stress we all live with, and the fact that it’s past mid-October and it continues to be over 100 at lunch recess.  We have such easy lives compared to many, and it’s still a lot.  I take . . . Read More


Repurposed

I’m loving these new days of autumn, even though we are still in the upper 80s for midday recess.  After such a long, hot summer,  it’s wonderful to feel a breeze that’s slightly cooler.  The seasonal change has invited more time outside to enjoy our playground and outdoor areas.   While supervising a small group . . . Read More


Sorting Through the Layers

First, I want to say thanks for all the kind words in response to my mom’s passing, the cards, flowers, and generous donations of trees in her memory.  My heart was quite touched.  In all honesty, my  initial response to her death was relief.  As this week has unfolded, I’ve moved into forgiveness.  I’m intentionally . . . Read More


Embracing Loss

Sunday late afternoon, I was heading back home from a walk.  We live in a neighborhood called The Pines, named for the dozens of pine trees planted in residents’ yards.  Over the past two decades, many of them have died and been replaced with more desert-friendly varieties, such as palo verde, mesquite, and Chinese elm . . . Read More


Launching Writers

My writing teacher, the late Donald Murray, once said that over time he found himself returning to the same topics.  In his case, two of his topics were serving in WWII and the death of his adult daughter.  His words drift into my mind as I notice I’m starting to write yet another blog about . . . Read More


Juneteenth

 On Monday, June 19, the Seed will be closed in honor of Juneteenth for the first time in the school’s history.  Now a federal holiday, Britt Hawthorne describes it as a day “to commemorate the day that enslaved Black Texans in the U.S. were finally free.”  It’s the longest Black American holiday to be celebrated, . . . Read More


Shout Out for Gayle

One of my favorite annual Seed traditions started years ago and continues to this day.  Each year Changing Hands Bookstore donates a gift card to each of our Seed graduates, and the school matches the amount on the card.  It’s an arrangement that originated with Gayle Shanks, co-founder of Changing Hands, whose son, Michael, and . . . Read More


Bouquet of Moms

In every class there is a flurry of creativity that will translate into Mother’s Day gifts.  Without revealing any top secret surprises, it’s heartwarming to see such an outpouring of appreciation to the moms who are such important members of our community.  The Preschool 4s class held an extra special celebration in honor of their . . . Read More


Why I Continue

Yesterday afternoon I returned from a week in Nebraska.  Most of that time was spent with my extremely elderly parents, who are hanging on by a thread.  Still living in their own house, they are daily supported by my brother and his wife, and one of our neighbors who is a childhood friend.  The intention . . . Read More


Echolocation

 On Thursday I was sitting under the loft in the 1st/2nd grade class with one of the first graders, finishing up the final touches of his published book about museums.  Although we were highly focused on his book, I couldn’t help but be distracted by what was going on with the rest of the class.  . . . Read More


Living in a Curated Way

Ever since I was a young child, I’ve been engaged in the creative process.  My first memories of this involved my hands in mud.  As I grew older, with unlimited raw materials at my fingertips, I branched out into making doll clothes, accessories, and full-on environments for my troll dolls and small animal erasers that . . . Read More


Toddlers Eating Carrots

You’ve probably seen extra vans parked in our lot these past two weeks, and plenty of ladders and equipment strewn in different parts of the school.  At last, our new fire surveillance panel has been installed, and the final details are being worked out.  It feels great to have this upgrade behind us.  We received . . . Read More


seedjustice

 We’ve been practicing social justice at the Seed since we first began in 1977.  Granted, our students were very young and there were just a few of them, but even in those early days we talked about saving the planet and being kind to each other.  Over time, as we grew larger and expanded our . . . Read More


Getting Ready

This entire week has been one of preparations.  Danielle and I have focused most of our attention on setting up schedules, staffing, and the calendar for upcoming aspects of our program.  For example, we have been talking about registration for the 2023-2024 school year, considering placement decisions and classroom configurations.  We have had conversation about . . . Read More


Larger and More Alive

 Over the weekend I traveled to Cheney, Washington, for my friend Elaine’s  celebration of life.  I was invited to join her family at their lake home for a Saturday afternoon gathering in her honor.   Their house felt like a shrine to Elaine Surbeck, with photos of every stage of her life filling walls and . . . Read More


A Place in my Brain

In preparation for a writing lesson about pumpkin seeds with the 3rd/4th graders, I found these few lines from a poem from “Jerusalem,” a poem by Naomi Shihab Nye: “There’s a place in my brain where hate won’t grow. I touch its riddle: wind, and seeds. Something pokes us as we sleep. It’s late but . . . Read More


Talent Show

These days fractals seem to  occupy my mind.  In her book, Emergent Strategy, adrienne maree brown describe fractals as “never-ending…infinitely complex patterns that are self-similar across different scales.  They are created by repeating a simple process over and over in an ongoing feedback loop.”  Further on in the chapter about fractals, she applies this pattern . . . Read More


Taking the Heat

 It was 102 at recess today.  Although I appreciated the rain that August monsoons brought, I’m glad to be stepping into September.  The rain brought plenty of humidity, and this has been exacerbated by extra hot days this past week.  For outdoor play when the temperature is 100 to 109, our practice is to offer . . . Read More


What’s Your Name?

We’re settling in.  We’ve nearly completed our third week of school, and routines are beginning to come together.  Although some children still need extra hugs before saying goodbye, and others express missing a parent, for the most part we’re getting used to being together again.  It’s a time of new learning on many levels. Names . . . Read More