#freshlife

We spent a full week in the Florida Keys this summer.  By the second day, Micah was already scouting out places where he could work until we could find the right property to purchase. Yes, we enjoy the #saltlife. Snorkeling.  Boating.  Fishing. Sunshine.  Cocktails ’til three in the morning.  Cocktails at three in the afternoon. …

How This Works

I should have painted the house today.  I thought about it.  And got sidetracked:  I worked, we worked on our puzzle, and then Cam convinced me to help her work on the go-kart. The carburetor needs replacing.  She has most of the bolts out already, so instead of picking up a paint brush, I pick…

Like Breathing

I don’t know what to write; I just know that I need to. “Like breathing,” Gary Paulsen says.  The need to write can feel as natural to one’s being as breathing.  I sit down at the edge of my stool, in the corner of the office, with the sky casting the mountains in silhouette outside…

Workshop: From Education to Aspiration

Where I’m From I am from the principal’s office where a King Soopers brown bag hid a metal lunch box inside: “Morgan, would you like to spend the whole day at school?” To which my five-year-old self answered “Yes.”   I am from Glennon Heights and Charlie Bear From Creighton Cougars and “It’s a great day…

Our One and Only

Today you reached a milestone; you finished elementary school, walked across the stage in the gymnasium and spent the rest of the day with your friends — JumpStreet, swimming, riding bikes around the ‘Wood — it is all that I could have hoped for.  You are growing up, and so quickly that I want to remember…

The Sweet Spot

Money buys freedom. A collective nod rises and falls across the room as Kristi Mraz talks to a group of teachers about the harsh reality we live in, not just as educators, but as human beings. She says the word money and my mind conjures images of the resource room back at school: Stacked floor to…

UnStructured Schools

All year long we’ve been dipping our toes in the Relay pond, the UnCommon Schools waters, the “Get Better Faster” pool.  And all year long, I’ve avoided wading too deep.  Something just hasn’t felt right.  Something has felt – if I am to be entirely honest – toxic about the uber-structured current that threatened to…

Space for Success

“Miss Allen! Miss Allen!!! Miss Allen!!!!!!!” A chorus of second-graders follows their teacher as she moves about the room.   “They just won’t stop saying my name!” she told me as we began our coaching cycle back in February.  As we laughed about this moment today, I asked her how she would punctuate the cacophony…

Play Personality

Understanding child development is serious business, but teaching isn’t; teaching is about ensuring a joyful, challenging journey for each child.  How can we do that if we do not remain joyful and challenged ourselves? So which play personality are you? From Stuart Brown’s work, Kristi Mraz and Christine Hertz, the authors of Kids 1st from Day…

Lead Learner

I was already doing fifteen over the speed limit this morning when I looked up in my rear view mirror and saw the black Nissan with the symbol of its maker catching the light of the morning sun, as if it had recently been washed, or at least shined since the last drop of cloud-fall. …