Imagine having grown up going to a school that had no walls. No detention. No bells. Instead, class is held in a bamboo fortress with open air and views of the jungle. Instead, “punishment” is handled by a sit down talk of how things could’ve been done differently. Instead, music and independence coordinates the changing of different class periods. At the Green School, children ages 5 to 18 grow up in this way. The structure encourages connecting students with what really drives them, helping them align their skills with their passions, and emphasizes compassion and personal development. It’s really really cool, and Jane Goodall spent 5 days here!
I had the pleasure of staying here for 3 days for the school’s Green Educator Course to get a better sense of the work going on here, and how I might be able to include elements of the education in my own behavior change profession. With 20 other individuals from all over the globe, I learned what an alternative school (workplace, community, city) might look like if we shift the conversation on success from a money/consumerism standpoint to one of ethical behavior and morals. What letter grade would you get if you were evaluated on how “good” of a human you were? What would you be doing right now if when 12 years old, your teachers asked what really excited you, and actually supported your achievement in this area?
We picked up trash and saw how students are organized into conducting regular waste audits, aquaponic systems, hydroponic systems, organic farming, compost systems, music, flow states, and much more. We capped the course with a mud wrestling ceremony and a blessing from local priests.