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Tyler Bastian on starting a farm school, cultivating belonging, and spreading that everything is incredible

episode 45

Tyler Bastian and
Sarah Pottle

a conversation co-created by

Tyler Bastian is a principal with a passion for education. His approach to teaching shuns the notion that education is about book smarts and standardized tests. He believes that good education creates happy, productive people. He founded Roots Charter High School in 2012 based on that idea. Tyler Bastian is an education leader, Filmmaker, Father and the founder of Roots Charter High School.

Born and raised in Utah, Tyler graduated from The University of Utah with a degree in Marriage and Family Relations. He spent most of his early thirties starting and running small businesses. Though being a business owner had its perks he felt drawn to teaching and spent many years looking for opportunities to teach.

In 2007, Tyler took the leap into teaching full time. For four years he taught Character Education at a local High School. The curriculum was a mix of social, emotional and positive psychology. Students received real life tools they could implement for positive change in their lives. Tyler believes positive character is the greatest indicator of success.

In 2012, Tyler began to develop the curriculum that became Roots Charter High School, Utah’s first farm-based charter high school. He felt the need to take the concepts and practices that he was teaching to a school wide culture. Tyler started Roots, and with his team, they have worked to create a safe loving environment that embraces students that failed in traditional schools. The halls at Roots High are filled with love, and a lot of second chances. Students who were unable to thrive in traditional schools have found a place at Roots.

When Tyler isn’t on the farm or at the school, he loves sharing ideas and philosophies that turn on lights and guide others through the darkness and confusion they often find themselves in.

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