How many years have you worked at Oak Grove?
I began as a parent in 1992, began teaching in 1993, and began in my current position in 2018.
Why do you work at Oak Grove?
Ever since I stumbled upon it in 1992, the Oak Grove community has served as extended family to me — a place where my three children could go to school and grandchildren to Peace Camp and where I could serve as teacher to our youngest students and their families. Through all these years, I’ve treasured the way this community helps all of us look through a lens of curiosity and compassion to understand what children are communicating, uncovering dilemmas felt by children and perhaps seen in behavior. If something feels awry, why?
I love that Oak Grove teachers and staff are life-long learners themselves. We are encouraged to be thoughtful, self-reflective, and to infuse our skills and passions into the life of OGS school days.
And because family relationships are some of the most complex and profoundly embedded root connections we all have in our lifetime, I cherish the way Oak Grove supports parents in uncovering their own dilemmas so they can provide a safe anchor for their children and know that they’re not alone, that we are interdependent.
A quote that inspires your approach to your job.
“When spider webs unite, they can tie up a lion.” (an Ethiopian saying)
From a 3-year-old at Oak Grove, looking around in the sandbox: “Hey! We’re bein’ a group!”
And from a 4-year-old at Oak Grove: “You know, I just love every day at school. My teacher holds me when I cry, I love flowers, and I like to nail.”
Coffee or Tea?
Hot water or ginger tea.
What makes an Oak Grove education unique?
Faculty, staff, and parents work together to support children and adolescents in becoming compassionate, mindful adults with a strong sense of self and respect for others. The world deeply needs their kindness, understanding, and patience, their ability to incorporate the perspective of others, to include everyone, to make the world a more just and peaceful place.
How do we prepare students for their life ahead?
We step back and trust that, armed with the deep love and listening and support and education they’ve received, they will find their way to the college, the friends, the partners, the work, and the life that is theirs.
The best live music performance/concert you ever attended is …
Children were sitting on a mound of grass far away, singing loudly. They’d stop singing and put their heads and ears close to the ground. Coming closer, I could hear them singing, “There are lots of worms way under the ground.” They were trying to hear the worms “a’diggin’ around,” making a scientific investigation based on the words of Patty Zeitlin’s song and their own experience. If there is digging going on anywhere, it’s supposed to make noise. They found out that worms do it a lot more quietly than humans.
Favorite Oak Grove expression?
“We’ll begin with a moment of silence.”
“At school the plan is…”
“It’s hard to wait.”