Hugging the Peach Tree

On Thursday morning a group of  students ran up to me excitedly asking to pick peaches.  I noticed most of the peaches had already been picked, but said we could go check it out.  When it was determined there were enough still left, a small envoy walked to the kitchen with me to obtain a . . . Read More


Precious Times

On Tuesday I observed a group of fourth graders standing together talking at lunch recess.  While larger group activity options were available, this particular group opted for “something smaller.”  Essentially they were asking for space to just hang out and be together.  At this time of year, they’re soaking up every ounce of being at . . . Read More


Hope for the Planet

 It’s Earth Day, a day I  renew  my commitment to serving Planet Earth.  I’me realizing more and more that the most significant way I can be of help is to keep working with the upcoming generations who will assume stewardship of our planet.  Today’s blog is about one of those young stewards.   One of . . . Read More


Harsh Times

Lately I’ve struggled to find words to describe these times.  This morning a fourth grader gave me the words I needed.  In response to a classmate’s honest sharing of a poem about a difficult family situation, one student said, “Writing a poem is a way to get through harsh times.”  These are harsh times on . . . Read More


Literacy of the Heart

In a recent interview with Mark Nepo, he offered an idea I’ve been thinking about for days.  He said, “In the Middle Ages in Europe for about 300-350 years, only 10% of the European population was literate.  That means 10% of the people living in Europe at that time kept literacy for 300 years.  Whatever it . . . Read More


Girls with Dreams

I first met Elsie Moore in the late 1980s, around the time of the Challenger Space Shuttle disaster.  I remember vividly sitting at a low table with Elsie and her husband, Wade.  They were looking for a kindergarten program for their eldest son, Arthur.  She was pregnant with her third son, Allen.  As always, she was . . . Read More


Listening to Nature

During recess I noticed a child sitting by herself in the grass under a shady tree.  She seemed perfectly happy engaged in her own little world.  I approached her to check in, and was amazed at her willingness to talk.  Keep in mind, this is a child I’ve known for several years, with whom I’ve . . . Read More


Read in Color

You might notice the sticker recently adhered to the glass door of our Little Free Library.  It came with the books and materials for the READ IN COLOR program sponsored by the Little Free Library Foundation, with books provided through Southwest Human Development.  Their mission statement says: “READ IN COLOR  aims to promote the distribution . . . Read More


Gallery of Leaders

It’s been a full, challenging, yet productive week.  As Covid closes in on our little Seed community, we continue to do all we can to keep everyone safe and well.  I spent another week with the 3rd/4th graders, and our time together did not disappoint.  Instead of a blog from me this week, I wanted . . . Read More


Leaders in Training

I’ve had the privilege of subbing in the 3rd/4th grade class this week.  It’s familiar territory for me, as I spent quite a few years teaching 4th/5th graders in this same room.  I also know the students as a result of being their writing teacher, some of them for 3-4 years.  One of my favorite . . . Read More


Seed Carriers

 Last Friday the Seed was inundated with collard greens.  Cases of greens arrived along with bags of ingredients to prepare the greens for eating.  The collard greens were part of a program called The Blue Watermelon Project.  Their website describes the project in this way:  “Inspired and led by the efforts of Chef Charleen Badman of . . . Read More


Emergent Traditions

It’s the time of year when we start talking about the holidays, especially how to approach them in a developmentally appropriate, socially conscious way.  Actually, we’ve been in serious conversation about this for more than a year, according to my blog from a year ago.  For as long as I can remember, we’ve used The Anti-bias . . . Read More


What Gives Me Hope

Thursday morning a coyote crossed my path on my morning walk, just as I was listening to a conversation where the participants were sharing quotes that inspire hope.  Here’s one of the quotes: “People say, what is the sense of our small effort? They cannot see that we must lay one brick at a time, . . . Read More


Come Through

On Sunday we received news that our long time friend, Deborah Cox, passed away.  Deborah and her family have been a part of the Seed’s history for decades.  Prior to retirement, she served as the assistant director of the ASU Center for the Study of Race and Democracy.  It was through Deborah and her family . . . Read More


Uprooted

I don’t know how I missed it, but I managed to sleep through the storm that blasted through the valley on Monday night.  My first clue that something was up was when I noticed a large tree fallen across the sidewalk on my morning walk.  As I drove down Baseline on my way home from . . . Read More


Returning to Ground Zero

We’ve entered our fourth day of school and, all things considered, we’re off to a good start.  We have many wonderful new families, along with our wide range of returning families.  It’s been a delightful experience to see our students back in person who have been at home for the past fifteen months.   Additionally, . . . Read More


Graduation Under the Trees

If there’s anything the 2020-2021 school year has given us, it’s an overabundance of opportunities to be innovative.  After missing their graduation a year ago, we wanted to make sure our 3rd-5th graders had a memorable ceremony.   Although some of the mitigations for COVID-19 have eased up a bit, we still have to follow . . . Read More


Footprints in the Mud

One morning on the playground a student ran up to me and announced that there were animal tracks in the mud under a tree.  I wandered over to check them out, and sure enough, there was plenty of proof that we’d had a four-legged visitor, or visitors.  My first guess was that it might be . . . Read More


Ten Years

Monday, March 15th, marked the ten-year anniversary of my breast cancer diagnosis.  It happened over spring break in 2011 on my first-born child’s birthday.  It was a surreal day, and one that significantly altered the course of my life.  I had “the good kind” of cancer, ductal carcinoma in situ, and managed to get through . . . 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


Ally

Every year our studies around social justice manifest in an organically unique way.  There’s always a plan, and what actually happens emerges totally from the kids.  Last weekend I was talking with one of my former 2nd graders, who is now a young mom, and she said, “I know you’re really into social justice right . . . Read More


Cracking Open Who You Are

What I’ve always loved about this time of year as a teacher is the opportunity to explore human rights issues with children.  Even though I haven’t been in the classroom for over ten years, I manage to keep my fingers in the pie, so to speak.  It’s one of the most organic parts of my . . . Read More


Growing into Goodness

Yesterday was another day of challenging news, and although I’ve vowed to give myself some space from all of the listening and reading, I’m having a hard time staying away from it.  I want to know what’s going on in the world.  I want to be informed so I can be a better teacher, leader, . . . Read More


What Am I Marching For?

The other day I noticed this beautiful sunflower on the verge of blooming.  Two bees were scurrying about in the center where seeds will eventually form.  It was perfect timing for a day early in the new year.  Months before this moment of unfurling, I devoted considerable time and energy to protecting the seedling that . . . Read More