What’s Best for the Kids

These past several weeks Bill has showed up at school every day (except a few Sundays) to burn weeds, trim trees, tidy up the playground, paint classrooms, and organize the sand circle area.  He sorted and washed all the spoons, bowls, and pots and pans. He’s used this time to make the space ready to . . . 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


Tomorrow’s Yesterday

When I was a kid, May 1st was a day of connection.  We’d make little baskets and fill them with lilacs, popcorn, and candy, then deliver them to friends’ front doors.  It was a sweet way to remember close friends.  It’s not a practice we see around here.  And with social distancing in place, as . . . 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


Stay Open

When I returned from my trip to Nebraska, I checked out a group of mysterious cabbage-like plants in our garden.  Looking closer, I discovered underneath the lush green leaves a whole collection of tiny Brussels sprouts.   How could this be?  I do remember planting seeds months ago, but thought our rabbit visitors had wiped . . . Read More


Trusting That Stories Will Come

 I’ve intended to write this blog for awhile, since learning that Vivian Paley passed away last summer.  We met in the late 1980s at a workshop hosted by a local teacher organization.  The event was hosted at Awakening Seed, and Vivian and I made a connection right away.  In addition to our common practices of . . . Read More


Counting Carrots

Exactly a year ago today, I left for India.  It was an adventure that changed my life and is still with me.  The orange-pink sunrise, the smell of rose oil, and the flapping of prayer flags in my back yard all carry me back to India.  Lately I’ve been reflecting on the year that has . . . Read More


Too Many Toys

Now that I have a seven-month-old great-granddaughter, I have more exposure to the “must have” gadgets and gizmos designed to make caring for a baby easier.  Over the past several months, our house has filled up with all sorts of paraphernalia to keep the baby safe and cognitively stimulated.  It’s made me realize how basic . . . Read More


Last Night We Were Brave

Although everyone is moving a bit slower this morning, we’re all feeling the glow of last night’s performance.  The amount of effort that goes into our winter solstice production is unseen by most of our audience.  The vision, patience, and practice that fill up our December weeks came forth last night as we offered an . . . Read More


A Story Line for Each Character

Since late August, I’ve worked with the 3rd/4th graders on their writing once a week.  At the suggestion of their teacher, we jumped into a form of writing that was new to me with this age group, development of a fictional character and creating a story around that character.  In the past, I generally stuck . . . Read More


Psychological Nutrients

The scent of basil is a sure sign that our nutrition study is  underway.  Coincidentally, as food nutrients dominated conversation in classrooms,  I came across a new term— psychological nutrients.  My ears and mind perked up, wondering what this idea could possibly mean.   It came to me in the same way I absorb most . . . Read More


Food Foundation

Healthy food has always been a priority at the Seed.  Over the years it’s taken on different expressions as we’ve responded to trends in nutrition.   Our current practices have been highly influenced by this article.    Another influence related to food is our dedication to planetary stewardship.  During the first few weeks of school, I . . . Read More


How We Talk to Children

In July we took my great-granddaughter to Minnesota to visit her great-great grandparents.  Included in the mix of family present was my great-niece, Emmy.  She’s a bright, articulate, curious girl, and was completely mesmerized by the baby.  Being a typical four-year-old, she wanted to touch her new little cousin and find out all she could . . . Read More


Red Threads

The red threads captured my attention.  During one of my summer morning walks, I heard an interview with Marcus Buckingham. He described his life long obsession with helping others improve the quality of their workplace experience.  The interview held my attention, yet there was nothing extraordinary in the conversation until he brought up the red threads. . . . Read More


Congruent with Who We Are

As this fourth week of summer camp comes to a close, the word “congruent” surfaces in my mind.  Congruent means to be in agreement or in harmony.  It comes from the Latin verb Congruere “to come together, correspond with.”   All week long I’ve seen evidence of congruency in action. When we developed our plan for . . . Read More


One Step at a Time

Last Friday morning was a popular time for water play, so the sand circle was flooded more extensively than normal.   I had the pleasure of being on duty for lunch recess and got in on some excellent water play action.  One thing I noticed right away was several children attempting to cross over the . . . 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


Seeds Blooming

 I can tell it’s spring, and it’s not just the weather.  All kinds of blooming is happening at the Seed.  I noticed dozens of pink and purple blossoms on our peach tree, and the apple tree has buds as well.  Things are blooming inside the building, too, as was evident in the K-1 class last . . . Read More


Deep Studies

During Monday’s all-school meeting, several classes reported news of emerging studies.  It’s that time of year when deeper studies come forth, usually inspired by interests of children.  I decided to investigate the roots of these studies, and it was no surprise how varied, yet similar, those roots are.   Generally, studies have formulated based on . . . Read More


For Anybody and Everybody

It’s impossible for me to see wild geese and not think of Mary Oliver.  High above the Platte River on a wintry Nebraska day or passing through the desert at the change of seasons, the wild geese are poetry in action.  These words at the end of Oliver’s most famous poem, “Wild Geese,” have sustained me . . . 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


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


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