Even In Our Neighborhood

Last weekend I was out for a walk along the canal by my house.  I was appalled by the huge pile of trash accumulated near a barrier consisting of styrofoam Polar Pop cups, recyclable water bottles, a GrubHub cooler, and a soccer ball.  I shared this with the 1st graders to remind them that climate . . . Read More


Sifting Through Climate Change

Since I last wrote, my four-year run of avoiding Covid came to a screeching halt.  Mostly it  felt like a bad case of bronchitis, for which I am grateful.  I’m slowly sifting through the residual symptoms, and am glad to be on this side of it.  I now understand the brain fog piece, and see . . . Read More


Activist Training

Each year around this time, we learn about the life of Martin Luther King, Jr. and others, like Rosa Parks, who contributed to the Civil Rights Movement.  Although social justice practices are ongoing, this time of year is an opportunity to hone in on activism. I’ve always loved putting together studies, and the chance to . . . Read More


Community Collaboration

When the pandemic arrived in 2020, an important part of my life was hit hard, Desert Song Healing Arts Center.  Since 2003, it was my yoga community where I taught and practiced, as well as a personal refuge in many ways.  The same week the Seed shut down, the studio’s doors also closed.  Several of . . . Read More


Intentional Watering

From time to time a certain voice catches my attention.  Most recently it’s the voice of Christiana  Figueres, the former Executive Secretary of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change from 2010 to 2016.   She is also known for being a key figure in making the 2015 Paris Agreement possible.  Christiana had a . . . Read More


Emergent Curriculum for Teachers

We often talk about our emergent curriculum, especially with new incoming families. It’s described on our website as “an organic approach to learning that incorporates the interests and passions of children, their teachers, and relevant issues or current events.” We use it because “it offers children and teachers the most autonomy as learners.  Using an . . . Read More


Cricket Workshop

Like most people I’ve talked with lately, my heart feels immensely heavy.  It’s the news, the level of stress we all live with, and the fact that it’s past mid-October and it continues to be over 100 at lunch recess.  We have such easy lives compared to many, and it’s still a lot.  I take . . . Read More


Food Rainbows

Our food study has been deliciously successful this year.  In speaking with various teachers, several themes have been present across grade levels: learning about foods by color and what they do for our bodies inviting parents/grandparents to come in and share favorite or traditional foods of their families/culture making a connection to gardening and our . . . Read More


Juneteenth

 On Monday, June 19, the Seed will be closed in honor of Juneteenth for the first time in the school’s history.  Now a federal holiday, Britt Hawthorne describes it as a day “to commemorate the day that enslaved Black Texans in the U.S. were finally free.”  It’s the longest Black American holiday to be celebrated, . . . Read More


Shout Out for Gayle

One of my favorite annual Seed traditions started years ago and continues to this day.  Each year Changing Hands Bookstore donates a gift card to each of our Seed graduates, and the school matches the amount on the card.  It’s an arrangement that originated with Gayle Shanks, co-founder of Changing Hands, whose son, Michael, and . . . Read More


Why I Continue

Yesterday afternoon I returned from a week in Nebraska.  Most of that time was spent with my extremely elderly parents, who are hanging on by a thread.  Still living in their own house, they are daily supported by my brother and his wife, and one of our neighbors who is a childhood friend.  The intention . . . Read More


Caring for Mama

As Earth Day rolls around, we take time to reflect on our practices at the Seed to evaluate how we’re doing and what we can do better.  As I look around, one area in which we’ve improved significantly is with lunches and water bottles.  Throughout the school, children of all ages are utilizing reusable containers, . . . Read More


A Hole for Everyone

So many life lessons happen in the sand circle. The Seed playground continues to provide opportunities that serve as a microcosm of the way the world works.  A brief time supervising the Early 3s during their Monday recess did just that.   During the pandemic we removed many of the pots and pans from the . . . Read More


Among Other Humans

This week I’ve had the opportunity to observe our three youngest classes as part of our annual teacher evaluation process.  Additionally, we had another teacher presentation from our professional development series featuring classroom practices.  These experiences, as well as more time doing playground supervision, gave me plenty to write about.  When I looked for a . . . Read More


Where Gandhi Sat

To be fully transparent, I’ve had trouble focusing on my work this week.  It’s not that I haven’t tried, my mind is merely elsewhere.  I made a list of upcoming projects to inspire concentration, and still my attention wanders to faraway beaches on the Arabian Sea, and brightly colored clothing of the Indian people.  Glancing . . . Read More


A Good Day in India

Tuesday night I set foot on US soil again after two and a half weeks of traveling to India.  Shortly thereafter, I received a phone call from my daughter, welcoming me back, and she put my three-year-old great-granddaughter on the phone.  She asked, “Mamie, did you have a good day in India?” I told her . . . Read More


seedjustice

 We’ve been practicing social justice at the Seed since we first began in 1977.  Granted, our students were very young and there were just a few of them, but even in those early days we talked about saving the planet and being kind to each other.  Over time, as we grew larger and expanded our . . . Read More


Getting Ready

This entire week has been one of preparations.  Danielle and I have focused most of our attention on setting up schedules, staffing, and the calendar for upcoming aspects of our program.  For example, we have been talking about registration for the 2023-2024 school year, considering placement decisions and classroom configurations.  We have had conversation about . . . Read More


Food Kits

How can it be that we’re already entering the second half of November?  The cooler days make it seem more believable, yet it’s all going so quickly.  On the agenda for the Seed in the coming weeks is our annual gathering the Wednesday before Thanksgiving.  In years past, each class cooked an item to contribute . . . Read More


A Place in my Brain

In preparation for a writing lesson about pumpkin seeds with the 3rd/4th graders, I found these few lines from a poem from “Jerusalem,” a poem by Naomi Shihab Nye: “There’s a place in my brain where hate won’t grow. I touch its riddle: wind, and seeds. Something pokes us as we sleep. It’s late but . . . Read More


Talent Show

These days fractals seem to  occupy my mind.  In her book, Emergent Strategy, adrienne maree brown describe fractals as “never-ending…infinitely complex patterns that are self-similar across different scales.  They are created by repeating a simple process over and over in an ongoing feedback loop.”  Further on in the chapter about fractals, she applies this pattern . . . Read More


Catching Light Across Time

I listen to so many podcasts, it’s hard to remember which thoughts and ideas come from which podcasts.  Often podcasters interview each other and/or appear on a number of episodes within a short period of time.  I love this intermingling of thought leaders.  It’s interesting how they might speak on the same topic with different . . . Read More


Dirt Builders

Beginning school in early August has its challenges, one being the Arizona heat.  We’ve been lucky so far that the temperatures have hovered under 100, allowing us to be outside for midday recess.  Our policy is if it’s 100 degrees we will offer an indoor/outdoor option.  When it hits 110, we keep everyone inside, except . . . Read More


Be and Be Better

I know it’s unbearably hot this time of year, as sweat becomes a natural state of being.  That said, I love the storms and cloud formations that appear during July in Phoenix.  Last night the clouds were unusually mesmerizing, and I’m glad I captured a few views before the light changed.  As I continued my . . . Read More