Wood Have, Could Have, Should Have.

"So they just play all day?" Every educator working in a play-based student directed environment has heard a potential parent speak these words during a tour.  With the current educational status quo, concerns about school readiness are cropping up earlier and earlier in children's lives.  Some private kindergartens in our nation require five year-olds to... Continue Reading →

Reggio, the Dollar Store, and Transformative Parts

As an educator working in a Reggio-inspired school, loose parts come up in conversation at least once per day.  I have attended training sessions on loose parts and their importance to the Reggio Way on at least five different occasions.  As a semi-compulsive teacher working in a student guided, play-based learning environment, I feel from... Continue Reading →

Re: Forest Bathing

When concepts cross cultural boundaries, they rarely survive intact. In 1892, Swami Vivekananda introduced a form of physical, mental, and spiritual exercise called "yoga" in the United States.  Needless to say, the hot yoga, restorative yoga, and yin yoga practiced by an estimated 36.7 million people in the US are entirely different than what Vivekananda practiced in the... Continue Reading →

Booming City, Tiny Baby, Broken Heart.

My wife and I both work in childcare.  She teaches in a Reggio-inspired infant program, and I teach in a Reggio-inspired outdoor preschool.  We met in high school and dated for ten years (two of which were from opposite sides of the world).  A few years ago, we moved to Nashville as boyfriend and girlfriend, and... Continue Reading →

“Dirty” is a Compliment

A few weeks ago, I was sitting on a big pile of mulch with one of my students just watching the clouds go by.  Without any prompting, she turned to me and said, "I'm a dirty robot."  Admittedly, I had a little trouble imagining what a "dirty robot" might be.  But as I sat on... Continue Reading →

Wabi-Sabi and Being with Sadness

Wabi-sabi (侘寂) is a Japanese aesthetic mindset focused on the beauty of impermanence and imperfection.  It is inspired by the teachings of Buddhism, particularly the tenant associated with the fleeting nature of our world (mujo 無常).  In Japan, it is visible in the architecture of tea houses, rock gardens, flower arrangement, cuisine, and thousands of other art forms... Continue Reading →

A Blessing and a Curse

I'll come clean.  I love honeysuckle. When I was a little boy, my grandparents used it as a landscaping plant to spruce up the wooden fence dividing their property from their neighbors'.  I have a distinct memory of my aunt showing me how to pluck the flowers and pinch off the base so that I... Continue Reading →

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