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


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


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


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


A Beginning with Intention

When I teach young writers, one of the first things we work on is topic selection.  We discuss how the challenge isn’t usually having something to write about, it’s deciding which of many topics to choose.  That’s how I feel about this summer.  In the six weeks since I wrote my last blog, I’ve walked . . . 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


Creatures of the Earth and Sky

Monday in the kindergarten class was a spontaneous preview of our summer art camp.  The class has been studying Ecuador, guided by their student teacher who is from there.  As part of their study, the Galapagos Islands became a topic of discussion.  This grabbed my attention and brought back strong memories of a student who . . . Read More


Lucky to Be Alive Right Now

Like some of my colleagues and friends, I had the good fortune of seeing Hamilton last week.  It was like nothing I’ve ever experienced.  Everything about it was exceptional, and as I continue listening to its soundtrack, more is revealed.  Several major themes keep circling around in my mind, including standing up for what you . . . Read More


Sharing Space

Action figures arrived from home in sets of five.  As the week unfolded, those same figures brought acceptance and respect alive in a whole new way.  Over the weekend their teacher cleared enough cubicles for each child to have a personal space.  Before long, the classroom looked like a colony of condos.  Toys, blocks, and . . . Read More


Glorious…and You Know It’s True

Some things will simply not be denied.  Although it’s hard to believe, on Wednesday we  finished our 40th year and added fourteen more graduates to our alumni population.  Since it’s a multiage class, a few will be returning for their 4th grade year in August.  The rest will be scattered into the world to find . . . Read More


Up Close and Personal

On my walk this morning, I heard the writer Elizabeth Gilbert  quote her mom in a podcast.  She said, “The big picture is in the details.”  She was talking about the way in which the bigger view of a situation can be revealed in the details of a story.  It seemed applicable for this week . . . Read More


And the Conversation Continues…

I’d like to say something about the teachers.  I mentioned last week our meeting to discuss how we could expand our conversation about race, culture and diversity.  I didn’t realize at the time how quickly they would take it to heart.  This week conversations have been popping up all over the school, many inspired by Dr. . . . Read More


Keep Moving It Forward

Everything changed a month ago and I’m still regaining my footing.  It hasn’t been easy and I know, in comparison to a vast majority of people on the planet, my life is blessed.  I know the shift that needs to happen is within and that’s where my focus lies these days.  Looking for inspiration last night . . . Read More


Curriculum Night Revised

We’re making a change this year.  Since the early 90s, we’ve had the kids come to curriculum night to offer a glimpse into what a typical day might look like.  The teachers and students demonstrated how circle goes and activities were planned that involved both parent and child.  It’s always been a fun, though slightly . . . Read More