Teaching Tree Educational Center

Our programs in holistic education forge genuine, trusting relationships between disparate individuals, groups, organizations, and other entities. We provide a center for social-emotional, environmental, and spiritual alternative education practices for students of all ages and for their places of learning.

Our Offerings
Council Retreats & Workshops

Council Retreats &


Speaking from the heart and listening from the heart is the foundation for much of what we offer. Because we value the practice of “Council,” honed over four decades at the Ojai Foundation, we continue offering education in this method of heartfelt deep listening and communication. We convene gatherings to hold and make space for particular marginalized communities, including Councils for BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, People of Color) and LGBTQIA+ people. Additionally trainings are held throughout the year to support those learning to facilitate and support others in the Council practice .

Rites Of


We offer multi-day retreats designed to support individuals and groups, mark life transitions, and celebrate crossing the threshold from childhood into a more independent self. By combining deep listening practices with nature-based activities, group building, and fun, our programs challenge students to invest in themselves, mark the significance of changing stages of life, and build new connections — with one another and with the more-than-human world around us.

Rites of Passage
Team Building



Through the power of play and challenge, we bring groups of all ages together to increase communication, leadership, and collaborative skills. We make working together an experience filled with joy and exhilaration. These programs are also grounded in Council-inspired circle-based, deep listening, allowing for more self-reflection and contemplation, and a deeper connection to oneself and the group. This combination of our unique learning method and in-depth group listening leads to life-changing personal transformations.

“Crossroads School has been working with Topa Institute (formerly The Ojai Foundation) since 1982, and our students have benefited greatly from our time on the ridge. I look forward to many more seasons of working together!”

— David Listenberger
Upper School Life Skills Department Chair & Teacher
at Crossroads School for Arts & Science

Work With Us

Teaching Tree programs are designed for schools and organizations that wish to create stronger and resilient communities. Get in touch to learn more about how we can customize a program for your needs.

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