Opal School Blog

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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May
17

An ecology of listening

“What’s the thing that most people miss above all? It’s just the chance to be gregarious, to be with other people. Human beings are socially evolved primates. It wasn’t that many generations ago that we were sitting on the floor of the Savannah picking lice out of each other’s fur. So, it’s hard to be […]

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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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Mar
17

Get Out

As Opal School’s Outdoor Education Specialist, I am lucky enough to spend lots of time outside every day. I believe that fresh air and time outside on trails helps me stay healthy. Science seems to confirm that belief. In The Nature Fix: Why Nature Makes Us Happier, Healthier, and More Creative, Florence Williams studies the […]

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Mar
16

The Max MacKay Rule: Decision-Making in the Time of COVID-19

These last days have come at us hard and fast. As we continue to respond and adapt, all of us at Opal School hope that we can continue to serve as a resource to your efforts to grow and thrive. Yesterday, I received this from our friend Ben Mardell. While it’s not the kind of […]

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Feb
27

Making biases visible

Last week, families gathered to discuss how work currently happening at Opal School supports knowledge and dispositions central to social justice and global citizenship. Families heard short stories from each of the classrooms to explore those connections.   As we continue to grow into this work, we feel it’s important to do so in conversation with parents […]

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Feb
12

Visitation Days 2020: New Models for Friendship

Last week, nearly 100 educators from around the world gathered at Opal School to uncover principles of Playful Inquiry and imagine greater opportunities for learning in their unique settings. You can get a hint of the experience in these participant voices: Amazing, insightful, inspiring, game changer. It has shown/taught/offered me a new way of being […]

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Jan
11

When your light goes out

Weekly, the Opal School elementary community starts its day with a community gathering. It’s a time when all four classes, along with many family members, come together in the theater to sing some songs and hear about what new ideas are sparking. The Cottonwood Community of kindergartners and first-graders led this week’s gathering. They sang […]

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Dec
20

Setting the Table: Winter vacation edition

All of us at Opal School wish you a restful and restorative end of 2019. Since September, we’ve been sharing short videos exploring the power of materials in connection, expression, and understanding – with the hope of strengthening your ability to engage that power in your setting. These videos have been briefly available for streaming […]

By Kathryn Ann Myers | Teaching and Learning
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