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.

Joe Teaching
Joe Donahue

As I write this, I am six weeks, four days, and 12 hours away from retirement. But who’s counting? Once I retire, it will be the first time since I was fourteen years old that I have not had at least a part time job. My father was a contractor and starting around fourteen, and I worked for him during summers and school breaks. It took me over ten years to complete my bachelor's degree because I had to put school on hold many times while I worked to save enough to continue my education...

As I write this, I am six weeks, four days, and 12 hours away from retirement. But who’s counting? Once I retire, it will be the first time since I was fourteen years old that I have not had at least a part time job. My father was a contractor and starting around fourteen, and I worked for him during summers and school breaks. It took me over ten years to complete my bachelor's degree because I had to put school on hold many times while I worked to save enough to continue my education.

So for the majority of my life, I’ve always worked. Here is a list of the jobs I’ve had throughout my career: gas station attendant (remember when someone else pumped your gas?), carpenter, cabinetmaker, plumber, electrician, native plant seed collector, assembly line worker, sewer cleaner, bricklayer, construction laborer, chef, house painter, mason, motel maintenance worker, wellness director, occupational medicine department head, injury prevention coordinator, physical therapy assistant, and, of course, teacher.

Each one of these occupations required me to learn something new. I have always welcomed the chance to learn new things, thus I feel that I am truly a lifelong learner. Here at Crane, I’ve always felt that my first obligation to my students has been to instill a curiosity and a passion for learning. I encourage my students to try new things and to not worry about failure, but rather embrace failure as a chance to learn to “figure things out.” It’s a mindset that can sometimes get you into hot water, but more often helps you add another notch of knowledge to your belt.

As a teacher, I feel that part of my responsibility is to help students develop grit--the motivation, willingness, and passion to continue with a challenge no matter how often they might fail or how difficult it may seem. Our fast paced, ever-changing global economy makes it difficult to know exactly what jobs will be available five or ten years from now. Preparing students by making them confident to try and to learn new things is the best we can do. So, no matter what your age-- middle school student, or retired teacher--it’s important to always want to learn and to continue to experiment, and fail. Yes, even in retirement.

Joe Donahue
Director of Engineering

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...