Sage Reflections

Field Notes of an Adolescent Anthropologist

This blog is being set up as a space for reflections at the intersection of the art & science of teaching and parenting adolescents. It is designed to be a reflective space- where we consider what we see in the classroom, in the news, and in our daily interactions with students on their adolescent journey. It will be written and curated by the founders of The Sage School, with other guest voices chiming in. It is designed to help all of us ask the vital questions of how we can, together, develop and raise healthy adults- educated, involved, engaged, and aware individuals ready to face their future- as well as to reflect on the challenges we have along the way. We will be submitting short(ish) reflections on a weekly basis. They are designed to be shared individually or as a package. The writings, like the spirit of The Sage School itself, are designed to be a thoughtful and reflective consideration of the journey, while also acknowledging that we should remain playful on the path itself.

“The adolescent is reaching for autonomy, and reaching isn’t a completed action.”
Robert Sylwester

“The teenage brain is still changing so much, we have to think about what kinds of experiences we want that growing brain to have.”
Barbara Strauch

“The way we teach depends on the way we think people know”
Parker Palmer

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We The Faculty…

  The Sage School started as an idea- a discussion. It was a conversation between colleagues about how we can do better by our adolescents, and better by the future of our planet. One of the things that Harry and I didn’t include as part of the original discussion was...READ MORE

Turns out, it’s all of it.

We have an informal ‘tradition’ here at Sage. For the past few years, recent graduates return to campus during their winter breaks. They visit with teachers, re-join a wellness game, and talk with our seniors (often, their former band-mates) about life on the ‘other side’ of Sage School. Participating in...READ MORE

Sage School: Be Interesting

One of the joys of this time of year is the trickling of Alumni through the Sage School doors. They come singly or they come in small groups. They come unannounced or they request permission to join the senior circle. Either way, they return and bring us ‘stories from the...READ MORE

How to Change the World: A two-step process backed by science

There have been two articles that I recently read about primary prevention and social norms that have intrigued me. They are about distinct topics- sexual violence and spanking- and yet, combined they can teach us much about building a better future. They can lead us down the following path:  ...READ MORE


It always comes down to a tiger entering the room. In response to my own question of “What are we trying to reproduce?” I ask the kids, in this case the 6/7 students who are just starting to explore genetics, “What would I do if a tiger came in the...READ MORE

Gaining Voice

When I was a kid, growing up in the traditional education system, I simply didn’t have a voice. I didn’t speak up in class. I was rarely asked my opinion. I did have a few teachers- one in 3rd- 5th grade who helped construct that sense of worth I needed...READ MORE

Growth Mindset: Math Approach

One of the major principles that we work with in and strive towards with our students and faculty is to help everyone develop and maintain a growth mindset. This principle is outlined by Author and Psychologist Daniel Seigel in many of his writings, but most notably in The Whole-Brain Child,...READ MORE

The Language of Sage

Lately, I have been interested in “ways of knowing”- exploring how different people see the world. A connecting theme in all accounts, whether the stories are about Polynesian wayfinders, or Siberian trappers, or members of a particular political party, is language; not only as a central cultural thread, but also...READ MORE