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Water

A third grader, Monica, tugged on my coat the other day because she wanted to share an assignment her teacher had given: to write messages and place them in bottles. The teacher had promised that they would have a chance to walk down the hill to the Bay and float their messages out. They would […]

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Seeing

Every child falls down. Some children fall a great deal. On any given school day, at least a dozen kids come to the office to be patched up. I’ve gotten to know my regulars – students who never met a level asphalt surface that didn’t bite. When they come through the door, we provide first […]

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Second

At the end of recess last Friday, I blew the line-up whistle. The scramble began. It took only one child switching from walk to run and then the pandemic spread. In an instant I had twelve students dashing across the playground to be first. Several boys showed remarkable cutting skills, slicing in front of their […]

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Rescue

Let me admit up front that I have long had rescue fantasies. I have long dreamed that one day someone would save me, recognize me, and lift me out of the many tight spots I’ve created for myself. Even as recently as this afternoon, I caught myself dreaming of rescue from stressful circumstances. Then, two […]

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Turn

On Tuesday, I had a good feeling about Kennedy. I held on stand-up meeting with my team on the playground. We talked about her progress though she had been a girl who had worked everyone’s last nerve. She was coming to school more and fighting less. Progress! Our efforts appeared to be paying off. We […]

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Meanies

I watched a young man make a pointed comment about one of his classmate’s the other morning. The comment struck me because it seemed unprovoked. The young lady, having just been slammed, responded with an inappropriate (but apt) gesture and they parted on ill terms. Two boys, looking on, laughed. Then kickball and foursquare resumed. […]

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Collective

I often tell my staff that health and family first. As I examine how my life is structured I find that I am not following my own advice. As it turns out, I am not as available to family and loved ones as I would like to be. So, I’m asking whether it has to […]

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Confidence

This morning I went to a school fair at a neighborhood recreation center. The event was designed and produced by parents who are looking for good schools for their children. “Packed” would be the right word for that small auditorium Curious mothers and fathers inched around the auditorium, snagging flyers, promotional material, and anything else […]

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Signal

As I stood on the playground this morning, I wondered whether the way I felt showed. I was having a flood of thoughts and feelings – signals – that wanted to rise to the surface. The timing was bad and I hoped that I could keep these internal communications tamped down. Still, on a playground […]

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