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


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


Remy’s Q & A

As rain fell on Wednesday morning, we scrambled to set up morning recess alternatives until the storm let up.  Once that was settled, I checked in with all of the lead teachers to gather information about the various studies they’d undertaken these past six weeks.   Topics varied widely and included dinosaurs, pirates, families, camping, . . . Read More


Can I Draw Myself White?

Our planned conversation about Dr. Seuss books was postponed until after spring break.  It’s a topic our entire lead staff is interested in, particularly as we develop curriculum that supports social justice.  We needed more time, and I have confidence that it will be a robust conversation when it happens.   In the mean time, other . . . Read More


Another Light Gone

Over the years I’ve often written of my third grade teacher who made such an impact on me as a young child.  As I grew older, there was another teacher, Jim Fraser.  He was my math teacher in junior high and high school.  As I read over some of the memories posted about him on . . . Read More


Seasoned Warriors

Wednesday was Veterans Day.  I held my own personal celebration by calling my 95-year-old father, Jim Kenner.  He’s a veteran and continues to be involved in his local American Legion post.  In fact, he was the recipient of a 75-year continuous service pin in March, right before the pandemic hit.  We were able to be . . . Read More


In Lieu of Halloween

 As the months keep adding up since the pandemic began, it’s easy to slide into the mindset of focusing on what we’ve lost.  I struggle with this daily, and all of it is making many of us feel incredibly tired.  Yet we press on, showing up every day to serve our students, support each other, and . . . Read More


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


Stretchy Outsider

 It’s easy these days to become inundated with news.  There is an article for everything from how to entertain your kids during a pandemic to the latest developments in vaccine trials.  Painful news about yet another shooting in another city is too frequent.  Alarming photos of fires ravaging the west coast are heartbreaking.  Podcasts are . . . Read More


The Messy Middle

A consistent presence in the kindergarten class from year to year is the hermit crab terrarium.  Hermit crabs become members of the class, providing hours of entertainment as they crawl in and out of wooden block structures constructed by five-year-olds.  What I’ve always found intriguing about hermit crabs is how they inhabit a shell, then . . . 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 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


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


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