Author: Susan Harris MacKay

Nov
06

Story Workshop: A confluence of meaning-making, play, and the arts

We hope you enjoy this presentation, offered as part of The Early Childhood Assembly’s Virtual Day of Early Childhood. We’re honored to be a part of the event. For those of you interested in diving more deeply into Story Workshop, we encourage you to join our current Developing Your Story Workshop course, view the Equity […]

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Sep
18

Considering Risks and Opportunities

I’m interested in the ways in which these strange days of learning about teaching during a global pandemic serve as a kind of sieve, shaking loose the things we didn’t know we didn’t need and leaving behind the stuff we can’t do school without –  exposed in ways it has not been before. Teachers are now […]

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Sep
14

Getting Started: West Coast Global Pandemic Edition

This pandemic experience is a massive experiment in collective vulnerability. We can be our worst selves when we’re afraid, or our very best, bravest selves. In the context of fear and vulnerability, there is often very little in between because when we are uncertain and afraid our default is self-protection. We don’t have to be […]

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Jul
16

Seeking Connections

While discussion and debate carries on about whether and how to open schools safely, we know that children’s museums will be unlikely to see visitors for many months to come. As we work to determine the best ways to welcome children back to Opal School in the fall, our home and partner organization, Portland Children’s Museum, remains […]

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Apr
21

What Do We Do When We Don’t Know What To Do?

“From now on things will be described in terms of the times Before and After Corona. Right now we are in neither. This is a threshold time, the liminal time where everything is reorganized. Every small and big action now opens or closes possibilities of what the future holds.” Nora Bateson (@NoraBateson – Twitter – […]

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Sep
07

Starting with Story Workshop

Story Workshop begins on the first day of the new school year. Here’s what it looked like!

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Apr
16

Working on Whiteness

Have you read the book Not My Idea by Anastasia Higgenbotham? Several weeks ago, Anastasia dropped by Opal School to speak with the 4th and 5th graders in our Willow classroom. She joined us there to talk to us about whiteness. The children were ready for her.

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Jan
19

Children, Complicated Times, and School

What rights do children have to think together about the world? Not our version of the world — but their own? What rights do children have to make sense of their world — and what are the implications — who benefits when there is little place for that in school? Children are, of course, aware […]

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Dec
31

Why Are We Doing This?

This morning, as we move through the final hours of 2018, Seth Godin (we’re big fans) posted a forward looking piece that included a list of problems we might solve in the coming decades — that is, within the lifetimes of the young children we teach.  Though I recommend you read the full article, I’ll […]

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Nov
26

Learning to Read the Research on Learning to Read

I have spent many hours during this holiday week in a rabbit hole. Late last week, several parents sent me notes asking for my opinion on recent flare-ups of one of mainstream media’s favorite topics: The Reading Wars. Fair enough, I thought. Why not take the opportunity to look for something I might have missed […]

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