Category: Chrysalis

Stories from my experiences with Chrysalis Charter School, the school my wife and I co-founded.

Cairns #85 – Beginning of the Long Days, 2016

Just a few more days to the end of the first school year of simply being a part-time teacher at Chrysalis. Been an interesting year. I aided Alysia with her 6th grade math class. For the first month, I worked

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Cairns #84 – End of the Long Nights, 2016

Moving a Boulder An old ranch road traverses the upper regions of this area’s watershed. Its ruts capture many small drainages coming down the slope and gather all of their runoff onto the road where the runoff flows quickly towards

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Cairns #82 – End of the Long Days, 2015

School has started so teaching is dominating my mind, including this issue of Cairns. Schooled I recently read “Schooled”, an article in The New Yorker by Dale Russakoff <>. It describes what happened when Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg’s donated one hundred

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Cairns #81

Helping turn the prow of our entropyship, the Earth, back upstream so that Earth’s evolving consciousness may explore the vast headwaters of the Universe for billions of years to come. Cairns 81 Beginning of the Long Days, 2015   The

Cairns #80 – Teachers as Leaders

Cairns #80 – End of the Long Nights – 2015 Alysia has become, officially, an ambassador for teacher-powered schools. She even gets to go to Washington next month, all expenses paid, to be on a panel at a conference. I

Cairns #79 – A Watershed Metaphor

Cairns #79 – Beginning of the Long Nights, 2014 but massively late as days begin growing longer in 2015.   The drought this summer was extreme. The ground was baked hard. Many lower branches died and easily snapped with a

Cairns #78 – The difference between “more wealth” and “more wealth than.”

Cairns #78 – End of the Long Days, 2014  Crunching branches The West, including our area, is in severe drought. I’m a little terrified at how many of the lower branches in the blue oaks that surround our homestead are

The Point – Cairns #78

This year is my last, full-time year at Chrysalis. I will be retiring from administrative duties at the end of the year. I might remain teaching part-time but I view this year as an opportunity to draw on all of

Why Teacher-led? – Cairns #78

I was working on showing how certain characteristics of Chrysalis emerge from our mission statement of encouraging the light within each student to shine brighter. A kind environment is obvious. Less obvious is teaching for understanding (as differentiated from covering

The Self-Organizing Trip – Cairns #77

The Self-Organizing Trip I’ve been too busy with multiple Chrysalis transitions to be able to write all I intended for this one. So, instead, a fairly straight-forward Chrysalis story, except for another strand I get to interweave at the end.