Crane Country Day School Established 1928

Crane School Blog: Focus on Learning

Featuring articles written by Crane Staffulty

For more information about Crane Country Day School, please contact admission@craneschool.org or call 805-969-7732 x127.

Finding Our Place in the World is an Inside Job
Monica Calderon

In the past few years, the results of several studies have shown that while we are seemingly living in a more connected world due to technology, there are more and more people experiencing high levels of stress, anxiety, depression, a sense of isolation, and more...

In the past few years, the results of several studies have shown that while we are seemingly living in a more connected world due to technology, there are more and more people experiencing high levels of stress, anxiety, depression, a sense of isolation, and more.

As a teacher of Spanish, my first responsibility is to teach the language--I love grammar, spelling, all of it! In our classes, Spanish is taught in the context of the students’ reality at school by connecting the Spanish language to their core class units in the primary grades, as well as to the reality of the different cultures in the Spanish-speaking world. One purpose behind exposing the students to these cultures is to help students discover how much we all are alike and how much we, as human beings, have essentially the same hopes and dreams regardless of where we come from, how much money we have, the color of our skin, or our educational level. Every human being hopes for a feeling of belonging and safety for themselves and for their loved ones and, for some, these hopes extend to the wellbeing of the world as a whole. Another purpose is to allow students to see “culture” as a point of view in the way some people live in the world, instead of seeing “culture” as “separate” from them as human beings.

While teaching about the celebration of independence for various Latin American countries this past week, students had the opportunity to think and talk about the meaning and value of freedom. To various degrees, the students were able to recognize and discuss the importance and fortune of being able to make choices and, thus, use their freedom. The students showed compassion and understanding for those who lived in slavery and were unable to make their own choices. A second-grade student whispered, “I am very happy that those people can be free like me.” My heart melted a bit! Other students in close proximity clapped in agreement. There was no separation at that moment. The students felt connected to another group of human beings who they did not even know! These discussions always make me realize that our young people have within them an “inner-knowing” that needs nurturing. Without a conscious effort to foster this inner-knowing, it begins to fade and with it the ability to see another’s point of view and befriend it. 

It makes sense to think that participating in as many activities as we can keeps us connected, but, in fact, it may unknowingly be draining young and adults in our fast-paced world.  One way to stay connected to that inner-knowing is through meditation. I understand that for some, it is just not their cup of tea. Yet, if you have not tried it with your child, you might be surprised how some children really enjoy it. A meditation session can take a minute or hours--it’s everyone’s personal choice.

There are other ways to foster inner-knowing, that sense of being connected to our core, and many relate this feeling to spending time in silence doing nothing at all. It is possible to sit at home in the living room, or on a park bench, or just in the car while waiting for the green light, when you and your child can do nothing and say nothing. Agree with your child to count in his/her mind in and out breaths to five, to ten, or more depending on where you are. Another option may include spending time in solitude. Your child can be in his or her room without having to engage with others, and this includes the absence of technology, of course.

The world has gotten louder and it’s easy to stop listening within. It is possible to be friends with ourselves. Over time, this kind of self-care will translate into self-compassion, self-love, self-confidence, and much more. The development of that connection with ourselves will likely evolve into a steady sense of connectedness to the outside world and those living in it! It is possible that while students still go through the inescapable life lessons that we all try to shield our loved ones from (at times, unsuccessfully), they will remain feeling connected to themselves experiencing life in joy and contentment for themselves and others.

Mónica Calderón
Spanish Teacher

Most Recent Posts

 Focus on Learning-Logos Pathos Ethos

Crane's seventh grade English students found out that the simple question, "What is your favorite sandwich?" isn't actually as simple as they had originally believed. Little did they know that this question would lead them to the theory of persuasion and the study of Aristotle's three modes - logos, ethos, and pathos.

As English teacher Mrs. Lombardi shared with seventh grade parents, "Understanding how to persuade others and also how one is persuaded by others are both important tools to have in one's kit"...

Its just middle school photo

This image is prominently displayed on our seventh grade dean’s website. It’s a bit of comic relief to combat the bad rap that the middle school years get. And it is a perfect example of one of the goals of the new Grade Level Dean program in the Upper School (sixth-eighth grades) at Crane School - to add an element of fun to the social lives of middle school students.

The Grade Level Dean program focuses on the social aspect of the middle school experience at Crane. As a school we are constantly assessing what changes we can make...

Focus on Learning Gratitude

While gratitude may be a buzzword, especially in the month of November, we believe it is much more than a popular hashtag (#grateful) or a fleeting trend. Gratitude is a powerful tool that has proven to positively affect individuals and communities.

In an article titled, What is Gratitude and Why Is It So Important? from positivepsychology.com, Courtney E. Ackerman, MSc states, “Effectively gratitude can create social networks and help individuals work towards goals and challenges, and overall, simply have stronger coping skills for life’s hardships.”

At Crane it has been inspiring and heart-warming to see students of all ages learning the independent practice of gratitude...

Blog Image: How was your day?

In the past seven months, most parents have been more involved in their children’s academic lives than ever before. We know what sight words they have been working on, what the all-school art project is, and who presented in the Friday assembly video.

However, as Crane School students in all nine grades now have the option to learn on campus, the majority of parents are once again receiving less information about the day-to-day activities both in the classroom and on the playground.

We have all asked the question and gotten the dreaded answer. You know the one. Parents enthusiastically ask, “How was your day!?!” The response is an annoyed or indifferent, “Fine,” “Okay,” or possibly just an undecipherable grunt...