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 or call 805-969-7732 x127.

Mindfulness: A Journey Back to Our Roots
Tray London

Think about a moment you remember vividly. Maybe it was the winning goal you kicked in that championship high school game or the first time you rode a bike on your own.

Think about a moment you remember vividly. Maybe it was the winning goal you kicked in that championship high school game or the first time you rode a bike on your own. These memories come back to life almost instantly in our mind’s eye as we recall every detail from how hot it was that day to the smell of fresh cut grass in the air. We also connect to the emotion of the moment--the exhilaration, the joy, the wholeness of a moment fully lived.
Over spring break, we headed to Joshua Tree to soak up the quiet and the beauty of the desert in bloom. I am a nature girl at heart and no stranger to the great outdoors, but even I was touched by the stark contrast of living outdoors for a few days. The pace of the day was structured around the sun’s light, hunger, and the energy level of our youngest child. Meals were simple and there was ample time to rest, to daydream, and to just notice the world around us. And, of course, there were campfires, which always seem to foster the best conversations. On hikes through the park, the girls were keenly focused on seeing everything. We never found the elusive desert tortoise, but we saw much that we would have just walked by had we not been paying attention. This short excursion into the desert turned out to be a series of mindful moments that I will definitely store as vivid memories.
Our early ancestors used to live more mindfully all day long. Their survival depended on being present and observant. On the drive home, I couldn’t help but be struck by how far we have strayed from our more simple and connected beginnings. My contemporary conditioned mind and my working-harder-is-smarter upbringing are a force to be reckoned with when trying to live more mindfully.
Greater Good Magazine lists the numerous benefits of mindfulness including how mindfulness boosts the immune system, reduces stress and depression, increases the density of gray matter in the brain, fosters compassion, and combats bias. We know we need to live this way and yet we constantly spread ourselves thin and fall prey to distraction. Raising children and working with children in these times is a constant reminder of the need to choose the road less traveled: choose to put the technology away, choose to show up fully when your child wants to share, and choose to put the to-do list away at some point everyday. Luckily, there are some great role models for mindful living right in our own Crane community. Many teachers incorporate mindfulness practice into their daily curriculum, and Staffulty practice yoga together after school. As the adults, we set the pace in our Crane community. Let’s make sure to set course for a life lived well and mindfully.
Happy Trails,
Tray London
LS Teaching Artist

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, 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...