Learning is about relationships. The Balinese honor this sentiment with their philosophy of Tri Hita Karana. As we develop Learning Standards that articulate our approach and guide our teaching, this standard strikes to the the heart of my experience and continued commitment in my eighth year at Green School. Strong relationships in our community of learners enable us to face the challenges and weather the storms that come along with pioneering a new type of school and creating our own unique curriculum.
Students, colleagues, parents, and the Bali community always remind me of the beauty and privilege of being part of this journey. This collection of passionate people focuses on changing the world for the better by creating sustainable relationships amongst ourselves and with our world. We think outside the box and adapt to change. What we are creating demands so much more than I could have imagined when I first saw the website and thought I had found the perfect school.
The excitement of those first weeks in 2008 are still fresh in my memory. John and Cynthia gathered us together from all around the world on this beautiful island to help manifest a vision. Several families shared that vision and were willing to roll up their sleeves and be so much more than parents who simply drop their children off at school each day. I even fondly recall the chaos of the opening weeks when we realized that this would be much more complex than anybody had imagined. The job ahead was very difficult.
As the years passed and things didn’t get easier, it sometimes seemed that this dream just might be out of reach. Instead, new relationships would form every year that brought renewed energy and clarity of purpose, reigniting the inspiration of students and teachers alike to be part of the solution. We were driven by the potential to shape a generation willing to embrace the world’s challenges positively and creatively.
We’ve seen this potential realized in students that have gone back to their home countries and worked tirelessly to stop the sale of bottled drinking water in their school. We’ve read the passionate words of those who write about sustainability in their school newspapers. We’ve supported our students on Bali as they’ve made the world take notice of their campaign to rid our island of plastic bags. We’ve cheered as other students and teachers have taken this initiative to Holland, Mexico and beyond. We’ve encouraged our students to put their passions to work in social enterprises. We beam with pride at the determination of our students to participate in the UN Climate Change Summit in Paris as they embody our vision of empowering and inspiring our students to be creative, innovative, green leaders on the world stage. We nurture these roots as our Kul Kul Connection establishes deep relationships with our local community.
It hasn’t been easy, and it hasn’t always been comfortable. The most rewarding journeys rarely are. Brave, passionate people who have the courage to be honest about their mistakes, learn from them and keep working toward a common dream are unstoppable. Together we are creating a school that honors our relationships with all stakeholders, our community, the world’s citizens, and our natural environment.
Pak Glenn Chickering
The Head of Middle School