This topic contains 6 replies, has 4 voices, and was last updated by  Abram de Bruyn 4 years, 11 months ago.

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    I believe this idea originally came from @tommie towards the conclusion of his time at ALC in Manhattan last spring. It has resurfaced in my head. @tommie — please chime in.

    YAALFs (Young Adult Agile Learning Facilitators) 

    Knowing that

    Students growing up in ALCs will have much clarity and drive by their teenage years…

    …and many will be going off to college or stepping out into the world in a different way — powerfully.

    Also consider what we’ve learned about the power of age-mixing and the importance of being able to dance between social and spiritual roles (student/teacher, parent/child, etc.).

    What if…

    …there were an opportunity (could even be a part of the graduation process) for young adult students (13-18) to spend time in a supportive, ALF-y type role for a year? They would travel to a different ALC and support the staff there, while continuing their personal evolution.


    Please discuss.




    I think this is an incredible idea and would love to see it come to fruition.

    In order to see that, I think we would need to:

    1) See which ALC’s would support this

    2) Create a webpage that describes the program – with language that states that this a proposed idea that we are looking for interested applicants that would want to be our test group for this.

    3) I could take that webpage and post it in homeschooling/unschooling online groups I’m a part of and paste a link of the webpage to see ask the communities if this is something they think teen homeschoolers would do, and to ask for their input in how this program could be designed to attract teens.

    4) Take the feedback and add to the content of the website, share with our communities and see if there are families that are willing to support it through host homes.

    Thoughts on those action steps?



    I was thinking of YAALFs as coming directly from an ALC community (not homeschoolers or unschoolers unfamiliar with our model).

    The idea was that by being and ALC student you are getting a sort of training in ALFing, simply by growing up in the environment. When you get into your teenage years you could be at a place where you’d be able to support staff in an assistant ALF-type role. In order to expand your experiences, you’d go to a different ALC in a new place to do your YAALFing.

    I’d have to rethink what it would look like to have homeschoolers do this. That would be something different, as they’d need their own immersive ALC experience to be able to effectively YAALF, I believe.



    OH! I misunderstood. I thought this was an idea to help attract more teens to ALCs as a part of a young internship-style program.

    I’d be down to explore either version. I think there could be teens out there that are already self-directed learners that could jump in and do this, but we’d just need to be selective.

    I’d love to have a YAALF in Charlotte if we could find a host family to support 😉


    Abram de Bruyn

    [Aaaargh.  Just wrote an epic personal response to this and then for some reason the browser refreshed automatically and wiped it! Rewriting it again, but briefer, lucky you! Less to read!]

    YAALFing and ALFing

    @tomis I hear you on this project.  Definitely there will be students who will want to move into an ALF role down the track.  I could name them for you now as a prediction, but I won’t.  I think that is both a big part of the work we are doing with this style of education (read: empowerment) and also is likely to offer the community the best possible ALFs (these kids will have YEARS on us).

    There is also the added bonus that it will create a clear alternative goal and pathway for students that want to get deep into this work.  This will reward the community immediately as we see people (not naming names) who are already engaging in the work becoming clearer in their own challenges and next steps (i.e. for learning to hold spaces sacred, coping with bullying, leading so that others can lead etc).

    I see hear a friction in my own process of becoming a more fully engaged and active ALF.  It is both my role to learn HOW TO lead students to create more open and collaborative space, AND TO support the kids to DO THIS themselves.

    This can be seen in the tensions:

    • Should I focus on modeling my passion OR finding and firing up their passion?
    • Should I speak now about something I see as a problem OR support the kids in noticing this themselves if it happens?
    • As a new ALF should I be seeking more opportunities to lead the group (in set the week etc) OR should I be holding silence for students to see the opportunity to lead themselves?

    I recognise that these are not binaries (I will discover students interests because they will be interested in my own), but these questions hover over most indirect discussions/interactions I have (oh, you love comics and sci-fi? want to go to a comic store?).

    Proposal: we need to make explicit which spaces and when new ALFs are being supported to lead and when we are looking to the kids to lead.



    I like this idea. Dean and I were jamming on a similar one in the car home. We were thinking about how powerful a post high-school detox center slash  pre-deciding what to do in life program like this would really serve the 16-20 year old population. Not quite YAALFing but it would be interesting to maybe have Tomis’s idea of YAALFING in this environment. Ok so now that I indulged the not on topic part of my comment I will move to the on topic section.


    I see what you’re pointing to Tomis and even see in many ways current students stepping into that role. (Alona) Some things to discuss now would be to identify current students really embodying the practice and grow the role with them.


    Abram de Bruyn

    So then I guess we are looking at multiple pathways to ALFing (I imagine there will be more)

    1. Adults coming from an education background/interest
    2. Teens coming from within the community (YAALF)

    @charlotte; @dean; I feel that these sound like much bigger and different projects (all SUPER exciting!):

    1. Teens coming INTO the community post-school for detox – real life prep/alternative
    2. Summer camps
    3. Boarding school (these last two I heard Eric bear mention something about wanting to head in the direction of)

    I think that it’s important that if we have multiple pathways into the facilitating roles (there could be more) that we make sure to hold space for the needs of each.  Obviously we are expecting a lot more independence of our (current) Adult ALFs than I imagine we would of YAALFs.  They will all need to be supported to experiment (fail and fail again!), which means having clear spaces for these experiments.


    Abram de Bruyn

    I thought that I mentioned this in my last post, but rereading it…oops.

    What about RAALFs?

    Resident Artist Agile Learning Facilitators? This would be for people that can REALLY model successful independent learning who may not be able or interested in committing long term to the educator role.  These people would have a skill set that the community would be interested in an ongoing project with.

    I’m thinking beyond the current volunteer basis that we have others come in.  Tomis mentioned that he’d support the idea of myself and my father working on a film documentation project about ALC.  What if we had space (i.e. board) for an artist to make work about the school with the kids for the wider world.

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