• November 2020

    In-School Learning

    Children are Parched for In-School Learning By Lisa Catterall I’ve learned that terror doesn’t happen because some group of people somewhere like Pakistan or Afghanistan simply decide to hate us. It happens because children aren’t being offered a bright enough future that they have a reason to choose life over death. – Greg Mortensen, 2009 My feet were dry and dusty. The heat was almost unbearable, and the smell of untreated sewage rolled along the dirt parking lot in clouds. The wall around the school in West Africa was the same dun brown as the dried out earth around it, with sharp metal spikes on top and a chain link…

  • October 2020

    Rebirth

    Rebirth By Lisa Catterall Every particle in the universe was once contained in an infinitesimal speck…a theoretical point in the void with no measurement. It must have been very heavy. After an explosion, the particles of the current universe moved rapidly outwards, gathering into tiny molecules then forming and reforming into more organized forms. In the smallest split second, the tiniest moment of this timeline, life on Earth existed and evolved and became the now, 2020. Some say it is the worst number yet. A complete disaster. A slowly filling “bingo card” of horrific and chaotic events. Yes, and… If you are a human being, like me, for whom the…

  • August 2020

    Outdoor Learning

    Why Outdoor Learning? Mount Madonna School Prepares for a Fall 2020 Return to Campus By Ann Goewert, Ph.D. There is something magical about learning outdoors, and Mount Madonna School’s (MMS) 375 acres of land includes groves of coastal redwoods and live oaks, mountain meadows, chaparral, and ponds. The ecological tapestry of biomes, rich with diverse life forms, provides an unmatched outdoor laboratory for our educators to engage students in a broad variety of learning experiences and opportunities, from the art of crafting stories to scientific inquiry and experimentation. Immersing students in nature and outdoor learning develops the whole student. Outdoor learning fuels the mind and ignites all of the senses.…

  • May 2020

    Relinquishing

    Relinquishing BY LISA CATTERALL She decided to free herself, dance into the wind, create a new language. And birds fluttered around her, writing “yes” in the sky. With their beautiful markings, exotic eyes and streamlined shape, White-tailed Kites almost seem like a fantasy bird, dreamed up by a writer doing a story about wizards and dragons. They have long white wings, flashing red eyes, and they are the shape of a falcon. They have a unique ability to hover in the midst of wind in one place, waiting for their prey to pass beneath. They also love storms. While many animals hunker down in their burrows or under their umbrella…

  • April 2020

    Teaching from a Distance

    Teaching from a Distance BY LISA CATTERALL Life can only be understood backwards; but it must be lived forwards. -Søren Kierkegaard Every day we wake up and there is nothing but time. My body jumps up thinking I’m already late. Late to make lunches, make breakfast, find their shoes. Did I lay out their clothes? Are their drawers full or will I be digging in the dryer? Don’t forget the bag of supplies for my teaching day. Go, go, go. Where are my keys? Are the car seats in the car? Teaching and parenting has been a marathon for 12 years. But now we have nowhere to go. I turn…