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Tara Redwood School - Essential Education

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Tara Redwood School The purpose of Universal Education is to raise children to be kinder to others more loving, compassionate, to grow up with more universal responsibility... In this way the child brings more peace, harmony and happiness to their family, friends, and the world. - Lama Thubten Zopa Rinpoche Tara Redwood School At Tara Redwood School, we believe that as educators and parents we have the responsibility to provide the best possible foundation for our children's lives. What does that mean? In our opinion it means that we need to provide children with the skillful guidance and a rich learning environment that will impart the key elements for living a successful, happy, and meaningful life. Tara Redwood School continues to develop methodologies that facilitate the realization of our mission. Knowledge of one's self, the world, and their interdependence is strengthened through discussion, contemplation, and an integrated curriculum. The children become aware that they are not isolated, independent people but rather are a part of an intricate connection of people and nature and that our actions do affect ourselves, others, and our environment. Our purpose is to empower children, youth and families to make a positive difference in the world. I feel that at Tara we develop our curriculum based not only on the academics, but also in how to bring and develop a good heart in every child. And I think that expands, not only in the children but in the staff, parents, and hopefully we can bring that into the community. It's very rewarding to see actions and comments or how we can teach the kids to be kind, and spread that in every activity they do. And I hope we can bring that to many children around the world. And here are these kids coming to school. There's one that's coming all the way from Boulder Creek. There's one that's coming all the way from Aptos maybe. OK, here we go. Here's one coming from Soquel. OK, so here they are. All over Santa Cruz County they're coming to our school. We come to school, to be a friend, a hand we lend, from our hearts. Good wishes we send, our arms we bend, to hug a friend, to hug our friends. Sebastion, can we make a big group hug here? My name is Bev Gwyn and I'm a pre-school teacher at Tara Redwood School. I've been working here for about 14 years, and over the years we've developed a really great Essential Education program. The pre-school curriculum is permeated with Essential Education. The children are very enthusiastic, and they take what they learn home to their parents, teaching them not to kill little animals, to use their prayer beads when they're upset and to send good wishes to help others. We have a really, really quiet body. And we're just going to listen with our ears to see how good is your sense of hearing. So during the work period that follows our circle we learn about ourselves and the world around us and we use those themes of Universal Education to help the children understand their world, their inner and outer world. At snack time the children think about the animals and the people who helped provide the snack for us and we thank them. At outdoor playtime we really work hard on playing in a friendly way including everybody. We do a lot of conflict resolution. The children do most of it, and we just help them. They're really cooperative and they love to do it. They love to help each other. After lunch we have an afternoon circle. At that time the children learn to sit quietly and calm their senses, and we listen to a gong. We get in touch with the feelings, and we send good wishes to others. Our stories and songs try to reflect Essential Education themes as much as we can and at the end of the day we try to dedicate our good energy by looking over the day and just seeing, how we really acted in a friendly way, maybe in new ways, and what we can improve tomorrow. And that's the way the day goes at Tara Redwood School at the pre-school level. Tara Redwood School has chosen to use an eclectic approach to covering all the basic subjects as outlined b the state of California. Tara has chosen to use the Montessori method that has been proven to work effectively in preparing children - mentally, physically and spiritually for the many challenges life may present. So, one of the things in our mission statement is empowering children to make a positive difference in the world. And I think the 'empowering' is the key part of this because so much of our culture, and our world, and our life, especially for 5 year olds, makes them feel disempowered. And so, one thing we're focusing a lot on, particularly this year is taking those wishes and doing something, creating causes that have effects in our classroom and in the world around us. So, we start out with art projects or some kind of activity in our classrooms but then, the hope is that we continue to make wishes and create positive thoughts that will create positive actions in the world and actually change the way our classroom is, and therefore change the way the world we live in is. ... and we are going to do it for the people who died and the people who got born and I have a special big wish that people could share fresh love with their animals. That's a goodie. Thinking big! How about you Robbie? What were some of your wishes? Love. So another thing that we do to help explore those topics and to have a better relationship to understanding those things we'll do projects, and we also go out in the wilderness and in nature and we find things that are showing us that things are connected showing us that things change, demonstrating the fact that things need other things to survive, and so after we find it we often bring it back to the classroom and create things so the children get to participate in that in a conscious way. So for example the last thing we've been working on is we've been making little cushions. And as we made the cushions we designed them in a particular way, and the design was full of meaning for the children, the design showing their wish for the world and for our classroom. And then we've been gluing those pieces on the pillows, that's to make those wishes 'stick,' and now we're binding and sewing the pillows together. And then we sit on our pillows every day when we send our wishes, and we imagine those wishes coming up through us and going out to the world and beyond. So it's just a tool, a project and a tool, to help us focus our concentration and invest meaning into the world around us. Children come to understand that although we are all unique and special an all have our own talents, we all share a common interest, a common wish. And that is to be happy. And this connection with others is the foundation for empathy. Through logical examination and self awareness, students develop a more altruistic attitude, and the union of wisdom, compassion, and confidence results in compassionate action. Tara pre-school was founded in 1989. It was inspired by Lama Thubten Yeshe's vision of Universal Education. And to quote Lama Yeshe, Lama said, "Knowing yourself, your psychology, your physical condition, this is Universal Education. We can communicate these things in a common, universal language." What is your wish for the world? What would you like to send around the world? I would like to wish happiness and love and care. Happiness, happiness. And Love. And we've got Love here already. Parker put Love. And Care? Yeah. And Care. All right! Thanks Riley. Wouldn't it be good if everybody felt healthy and strong? OK. So let's send our wishes around. I think there's a lot of good wishes there. All together! Working together. One, two, three, Be Happy! Be Happy! Be Happy! In 2001 Tara Redwood School affiliated with the FPMT and is a pilot school for the development of this much needed education, an education for creating a more peaceful world. And as Mahatma Ghandi said, "If we are to teach real peace in the world, we shall have to begin with the children." Thank you. May the work at Tara Redwood School spread out to benefit countless beings.

Video Details

Duration: 12 minutes and 9 seconds
Country: United States
Language: English
Producer: Adam M. Balest
Director: Pamela Cayton
Views: 359
Posted by: richhenry on Apr 7, 2008

Tara Redwood School is a pre-school and elementary school based on Essential Education (also know as Universal Education) principles to strengthen compassion, kindness, and wisdom.

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