Although the Growing School is a technical school that trains listening skills for personal growth, it is not a conventional academic institution. The nature of the training is an immersive, holistic practice of meditation and group discussions. It is immersive in that the skill is cultivated in group and one-on-one discussions with people who agree to respect and uphold specific rules for an emotionally safe environment. However, the skill is also cultivated in meditation, when the individual alone attempts to immerse into an emotionally safe environment of their own mind and body. In attempt to still the mind (necessary to hear clearly), meditation is defined here as maintaining a position that best supports the body. This includes, but is not limited to variations of sitting, standing, chair and supine positions. Training is holistic in that the student is not only learning to hear and respond to others with sensibility, compassion, and forgiveness, but also (and most importantly) to listen to one's own feelings and needs with the same. For these reasons, class sessions are attended not for an academic grade, but rather to engage and learn to manage the heart and mind. Learning is measured quantitatively in hours spent training and ability for others to independently verify what you are hearing/perceiving, and qualitatively in self reflection. Most have found this is not a pursuit that is mastered overnight. It is rather a lifetime practice.

Chief Executive Officer

Tobin started meditating in college. In 2011, he began attending meditation and discussion groups at the Berkeley Shambhala Meditation Center. He is a member there.

Chief Financial Officer

When not making money decisions for the organization, Todd is a financial advisor for a biotech startup. He and his family live in the East Bay.


Lisa has over twelve years of experience in education as a teacher. In her off hours, she enjoys backpacking with her family.