Teaching Tree Educational Center

Teaching Tree forges 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, Council and Council training is a regular, public offering. 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 on the path to become Council facilitators and trainers.

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, Rites of Passage programs challenge participants to invest in themselves, find meaning in the changing stages of life, and gain insight into new possibilities of relationship — with self, with community, and with the Earth.

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, allowing for more “aha” moments, more self-reflection and contemplation, and a deeper connection to oneself and the group. Additionally, the combination of experiential learning 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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