Opening the Space

 Teal colored chairs and tables arrived around the same time as the students.  After many months of virtual learning, we opened the space for more of our elementary and preschool students to return to in-person schooling.  We were aware of the risks of adding more students to our classrooms, and it was time.  Keeping in . . . Read More


A Way to Survive

Over the years I’ve come to love this time of year when summer is (mostly) behind us and we shift our gaze toward autumn.  We’ve been in school almost two months, and it’s time for parent/teacher conferences.  After conferences we typically begin gearing up for our annual Halloween carnival.  COVID-19 has drastically changed everything, and . . . Read More


Time for A Plan

I don’t remember a time when using our voices has seemed so important.  There’s much to sort through as we move toward an election that will significantly alter the course of our country one way or another.  I have my personal opinions, of course, and what I’ve been thinking about is larger than partisan inclinations.  . . . Read More


Stirring It Up

 A group of kindergarteners enthusiastically stirred a pot of mud recently.  It was a group effort, requiring sticks, big muscles, and directives from bystanders.  Their focus was intense and energetic.  Days later, another intensely focused person, Ruth Bader Ginsburg, known for her lifetime work of stirring things up, became headline news.  RBG served as a justice . . . Read More


Thank You

The sunrises have been extraordinary lately, unfortunately due to smoke that’s filtered our way from the west coast fires.  Each new morning I see another bright orange sun, I think of the people who have lost their homes, family members, and healthy air to breathe. It was shocking to read in the news yesterday that . . . Read More


Hybrid

For many years I’ve thought of the Seed as a hybrid.  Early on, we drew on a variety of approaches to inform our practices.  In graduate school I researched Montessori, Waldorf, and embraced the Whole Language movement.  We’ve studied the constructivist approach, based on Piaget’s theory, and added Love and Logic ® to our toolbox.  . . . Read More


From the Stars

We’re now closing in on our second week of school in its new COVID-era manifestation.  I have to say I’m totally impressed with our teachers who, under incredible responsibility/stress, are making this happen for both our in-person and virtual students.  We still have refinements to make, and we are progressing.  I want to tell you . . . Read More


A Balanced Approach

We did it.  We reopened the Seed.  On Tuesday morning we were greeted by appreciative families dropping off their precious children.  Some of the kids were apprehensive about not only having their hair checked for lice as they do every first day of school, but also having their temperature taken.  Having to say goodbye to . . . Read More


Cars in the Parking Lot

 It’s been four and a half months since there were this many cars in our parking lot.  Cautiously the Seed staff has returned for a week of cleaning, planning, and preparing for what lies ahead.  We’ve completed CPR training and gone over COVID-19 protocols, in addition to preparing for virtual teaching along with in-person learning.  . . . Read More


Time to Wake Up

Normally we’d be on vacation right about now, looking at scenes such as this one on the Olympic Peninsula in Washington state.  We would be revitalizing ourselves by walking beaches on either coast, perhaps taking a ferry from one location to another.  There was always a body of water involved.  Last night, as we took . . . Read More


From the Ashes

 When we were in Darjeeling a year and a half ago, we visited the Tibetan Refugee Self Help Center.  The center provides artisan training and support of residents of all ages.  People who live there make a variety of handicrafts, including jewelry, weaving, and clothing.  They also make prayer flags, so I loaded up on . . . Read More


A Seat at the Table

 These past few weeks, as we’ve been planning for the Seed’s re-opening in August, a steady stream of podcasts and articles have filled up spare moments. I’ve been listening to a variety of voices, all devoted to one thing, making this a better world for all human beings.  As I read and listen, more and . . . Read More


Relationships of Healing

 The warmer weather has inspired me to find a new route for my morning walks.  Through a bit of exploring, I’ve discovered some sleepy, lesser traveled streets near South Mountain that even provide a bit of shade.  At the point where I turn around, a sailboat is parked.  It’s been there awhile, and seems like . . . Read More


I Wear My Mask for You

 Earlier this week, our board of directors had to make the difficult decision to keep the Seed closed a bit longer.  We were hoping to offer a three-week summer program, to provide much-needed childcare, as well as test our projected adaptations we plan to implement in August.  Before finalizing the summer opening date, we determined . . . Read More


Getting It Right

The branches on the Seed’s apple tree are heavily weighted with dozens of apples.  I’m certain the crop is larger than usual, due to the absence of small “harvesters” this year.  The tree is also maturing, and capable of producing more.  The apples seem symbolic of the weight upon us at this time in history, . . . Read More


Promoting Social Justice

One by one, each child was acknowledged and celebrated.  Beginning with our tiniest toddlers, and ending with our 3rd/4th grade graduates, the day of celebration brought a most unusual school year to an end.  Despite not being physically present with our students since early March, each teacher had kind, thoughtful words about the students with . . . Read More


Cultivating Resilience

Two weeks ago I wrote about our efforts as a staff to do what’s best for kids.  I keep thinking about this topic, and a related one—children’s mental health.  Daily I see articles about this subject, and have concerns that, amidst the focus on academic learning time lost, the mental health piece is not being addressed . . . Read More


Reading the Wind

It’s that time of year when everything at school winds down.  Teachers are writing progress reports and making awards.  Ceremonies of completion and graduation are being planned.  Teachers are organizing students’ materials to take home as a record of the past ten months.  The one big difference this year is that none of the festivities . . . Read More


In Celebration of Awakeners

My third grade teacher, Marie Peithman, received me for exactly who I was.  She was a breath of fresh air after a second grade tyrant who made me stand on tiptoes with my nose in a chalk-drawn circle on the board, just for talking.  Mrs. Peithman was kind, and had appropriately high expectations.  I remember . . . Read More


Live in a Good Way for Her

Earth Day has historically been one of the most important days of the year at Awakening Seed.  It’s an embodiment of the Seed’s mission statement:  “Awakening Seed is an innovative, compassionate learning community that inspires global citizens by fostering curiosity, celebrating uniqueness, and promoting social justice.”  This year, more than any other year, it was . . . Read More


We Miss

 As we enter our second month of days at home instead of the Seed,  it’s beginning to sink in that we may be at this longer than we originally anticipated.  The novelty has begun to wear off, and the list of things we are missing from our old life grows longer each day.  Granted, most . . . Read More


Caring for Our Own

A devoted mother dove sits in the nest she built on a small shelf above the hose in our back yard.  She’s been there for nearly two weeks.  There were two eggs originally, and now there is one hatchling, whose eyes are still closed.  I don’t know what happened to the other one.  This mother . . . Read More


Keeping It Whole

On Tuesday morning I was over at the Seed taking photos for our upcoming yearbook project.  Evidence of spring was everywhere.  Bill has been hard at work keeping weeds at bay, and the freshly mown grass looks incredibly healthy.  A few class gardens are bursting with produce, including kale, chard, and spinach.  Sunflowers are blooming . . . Read More


December Strong

 The other night at sunset, the looming darkness took me back to where I was a year ago.  Just a few weeks shy of our departure for India, I felt like I was at the edge of a great chasm, preparing to step completely into the unknown.  The month of December with the shortest days . . . Read More