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


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