One Tree promotes 11 principles that come out of the words “Radical Love.” These principles shape the teaching methodology of Roots & Fruits preschool and the philosophy behind the Seeds Institute’s trainings and community organizing. Radical Love means embracing compassion for all humans, crossing all boundaries, and honoring all beings because they are special. One Tree empowers people to collaboratively create peace and love in our community by recognizing the love and light that each person holds.
The world is in constant, circular motion where every human, animal, plant, and mineral is connected to each other and the cosmos at large. Children gather together during group assemblies, sitting in a circle to share ideas, games, and questions. Children also explore their relationships with fellow friends, adults, animals, and the natural world.
Act of being unselfish and devoting one’s life to the welfare of other beings. Children are encouraged daily to support their peers in various group projects and cooperative games. Children also have the opportunity to participate in community service projects with local community resources, youth, etc. They are empowered to stand up for injustices in our society that they see as being unfair.
Every individual’s voice and experience is valuable because it represents some measure of truth. Creating spaces where we can truly listen and offer compassion and respect to each other provides everyone an opportunity to grow in our own truths. Children are inspired to express themselves through all of the available launguages—“expressive, communicatitve, and cognitive languages, whether they be words, movement, drawing, painting, building, sculpture, shadow play, collage, dramatic play, or music to name a few (Hundred Languages of Children).”
As humans, it is important to stop, reflect, and think about what our daily intentions are in the way we live our life in order to be more present with the world around us and ourselves. Teachers are trained to value the importance of reflection time to think about our work with children, how present we are with children, and what the children are teaching us in each moment. Teachers model patience, understanding, and respect to the children.
Being committed to the world around us and ourselves requires a commitment to love and engaging from a place of love where we are mutual partners on this planet. The more we are committed to our own individual paths and traditions, the more we are able to learn about another’s paths and traditions. Teachers and children work in partnership to learn about the differences present in our classroom and world. Roots & Fruits promotes an anti-bias curriculum, creates a diverse learning environment that honors all differences, and inspires the children and staff to explore their many cultural roots and to share these aspects with their school community.
Accepting personal responsibility for our relationships with others, our place on this planet, and our universal and spiritual responsibility creates a world based in trust and love. Through our behavior guidance techniques, children learn how to use their voice to talk about how they feel and what they need when a conflict arises. Teachers promote nonviolence within the program, providing children with the support they need to manage their emotions and obtain their needs. Children also learn about the power of forgiveness toward others who may have hurt them. Children recite a Kindness Pledge each morning and work together to fill a Kindness Jar each day to assist them in remembering how to treat each other with love and respect.
All beings have something to teach and learn from one another. All teachers and children in the Roots & Fruits program are learning from each other. Teachers do not see children simply as empty vessels needing to be filled, but rather as curious minds with wisdom to be guided and reinforced. The program values the many diverse learning styles and promotes this diversity through curriculum and program development.
Practicing radical love requires the presence of freedom where all beings have the ability to make choices and relate to each other that lead to deeper understanding and consciousness. Roots & Fruits curriculum is based on emergent philosophy where children have the freedom to guide teachers in their learning based on their shared interest in the world around them. Teachers act as facilitators, asking open – ended questions and providing choices in activities and projects to children to expand their learning.
Individuals must have open hearts and minds to listen to others’ diverse perspectives and be willing to grow as new knowledge is offered. Roots & Fruits’ anti-bias curriculum provides children with knowledge that transforms existing stereotypes, providing them with information that promotes respect for themselves and their neighbors.
Value the parts of ourselves that create and recreate the world around us, utilizing many gifts given to each of us by Great Spirit. Children are the hope for the future and will begin to explore their own gifts in this program—future musicians, storytellers, artists, dancers, gardeners, architects, peace activists, and more will discover their gifts at Roots & Fruits. Celebrating these gifts helps to vision a world of peace and love for all.
Through this value, all people are invigorated to be authentic and whole. Three key qualities are to have discipline, presence, and an open heart where we are warm, alive, spontaneous, connected, and compassionate. Teachers in this program are committed to embracing these three qualities to create an inspiring, nurturing program for all the children enrolled.