The Mother Earth School Community

  • We strive to create a setting that is accessible to a diversity of people by extending our programming beyond our year-round classes.
  • We create opportunities that invite the broader community to build traditions with us at our farm sites and other school-sponsored events, connecting with the land and with each other.
  • Our extended community includes people of all ages, abilities and backgrounds.
  • There are many ways to become active in the Mother Earth School community by bringing a willingness to learn and skills to share as volunteers, interns, board members, teachers in training, mentors, and allies.
  • We focus on the work of healing, transformation, awareness and connection.
  • Our students come from and graduate to a wide variety of schooling options including homeschool, public education and Waldorf education.
  • We have an active Wisdom Council who are elder mentors that support the work of nature connection and share their experiences toward that goal.
  • We focus on the work of healing, transformation, awareness and connection.
  • We adhere to Communication Agreements in order to honor and respect the diversity of perspectives that converge in communion with nature.
  • We are stepping into the responsibility of recognizing internalized privilege, systemic oppression and other factors that contribute to injustice so that our efforts toward equity are authentic.

Faculty

April Blair is one of the founding teachers of Mother Earth School. She began teaching the Forest Kindergarten at Tryon Life Farm in 2008 and went on to start the grade school at the Jean's Farm site in 2012. As a native Oregonian April grew up hiking and camping in this bioregion. She is an artist, dancer, teacher, Mother of two, and continual explorer of inner and outer worlds. She brings her passion for life, the natural world, and compassion for the human condition to her teaching. She graduated from the Micha-el Institute for Waldorf teacher training, trained with the Handle Institute in understanding neural developmental differences, taken many courses with Jon Young on mentoring and Bird Language, and has her Permaculture design certificate. In addition she has been inspired by her studies of Biodynamic farming and beekeeping, theater of the oppressed diversity work, Janet Allison's 'Boys Alive' work, and Helle Heckman's Nokken model.

Frankie teaches grades school at Jean's Farm, just downstream of the home he shares with his friends and child along Johnson Creek, traditional lands of the Chinook nations. He is devoted to the work of facilitating the continued connection between the hearts of the children and the spirit of the land through storytelling, art, movement, music, numbers and letters. Waldorf Teacher Education Eugene called him into a renewed path of self development after the birth of his daughter 6 years ago, and he has been teaching children in nature based classes since then. Frankie grew up white of Southern Italian heritage and working class on Ohlone land in the San Francisco Bay Area. His imagination was magnificent. This was nourished by the live oak spotted golden hills, redwood covered mountains, and sun soaked waters he playfully experienced as a youth gaining confidence through backpacking. He thoroughly enjoys his teaching work, laughing with his daughter, dancing, singing, tea ceremony, and collective homesteading.

Carmen Harris has worked in early childhood education throughout the last decade. Her work couples her concern to nourish the exuberant wonder of childhood with her love for the magic of the natural world. She has a great love for wildness (within and without), and an abiding passion for the rooted world of plants. Herbcraft, botany, and gardening all feed Carmen’s spirit, as does her pleasure in dance, and her training in the visual arts. Growing up in New Zealand, Carmen was informed by the mountains, valleys and waters of that land, and by her proximity to Maori culture. More recently, Carmen spent 12 years in New Mexico, learning from local herbalists, bathing in the wisdom of the pueblo culture, and taking children out into the land in all seasons, as a Teacher with ‘Arts Of Nature’ and through her own nature based early childhood programs. Carmen has been participant in and organized numerous classes in plant medicine, primitive skills, tracking, doula studies and bodywork. Carmen is certified in Waldorf Early Childhood Education through Sunbridge Institute, New York. She is dedicated to moving education out of the classroom and into the land, and to making hands-on outdoor education available to children of all ages.

Isobel Charle is the Kindergarten Assistant. She has been working with children in many different environments, from public schools to summer camps, for a decade. She is thrilled to be at Mother Earth School where she can share her love of nature with her students and be outside all day! Before MES, Isobel worked as an Outdoor Educator at Tualatin Hills Parks and Recreation. For three years she has been a resident at the Cedar Moon intentional community that shares the land with Tryon Life Community Farm. Other than working with children, Isobel dabbles in theater, clowning, herbalism and music.

Wherever you stand, be the soul of that place
— Rumi