Fueling Hope for the Final Quarter:
Embracing Signs of Renewal
Courage Saturday retreats are based on the work of Dr. Parker J. Palmer, whose book The Courage to Teach charts a very different path towards developing oneself as a professional educator. Palmer’s fundamental thesis is that “we teach who we are” and that by knowing ourselves more deeply, we become more authentic in the classroom and in other roles we play within a school. The book has gained wide attention in the last decade and given rise to The Center for Courage & Renewal, which supports events that offer educators opportunities to explore the inner landscape.
Each retreat is designed to be unique as well as thematically related as a series. Those interested can register for any or all of the Saturdays: February 25th, April 14th and May 12th.
Content for the retreats is drawn from seasonal metaphors and qualities of teaching life from the specific time of year.
In the second Courage Saturday on April 14th, “Fueling Hope for the Final Quarter: Embracing Signs of Renewal,” we will take time to reflect on imagery from early spring, the miraculous return of green, bird song and warmer weather, and the corresponding feelings of hope and optimism. We have likely experienced a year filled with challenges of all kinds as well as learning and breakthroughs when our efforts bore fruit. Our work as educators is demanding; we often give to the point of depletion. Just as spring is a time when nature reminds us that renewal and new growth are possible, this retreat is also a time to revive and re-fuel our energy, to give back to ourselves in preparation for the final quarter.
As with all the Courage Saturdays participants will engage with poems and other texts and will have time for individual journaling as well as for sharing their insights with others. A strong sense of community is quickly established through the use of thoughtful guidelines that ensure that the space is safe and invitational. Participants typically leave with deepened self-awareness and understanding, and a readiness to return to the classroom with renewed commitment. To truly “teach who we are” requires some inner work on our part, reflection that grounds us in our most authentic ways of knowing. Taking this time to be with ourselves restores our energy and offers us new ways of engaging with our students.
Some educators question whether they can afford the luxury of time spent in this way. As one participant asked at a Courage to Teach® event: “Are there specific outcomes in this workshop that I will implement with my students, or is this really just for me?” The answer is both-and: this is really just for you, at least in the beginning; and the benefits of the retreats emerge, sometimes immediately and sometimes more slowly, in very real, substantial ways. Teachers who re-connect with themselves and their original passion for teaching re-engage with their work with a renewed sense of dedication, a quality as essential to good teaching as all of our carefully prepared lesson plans. These retreats promote reflection, relationship, and renewal – critical capacities for enduring, dynamic educators.
While you may register for one or both of the Saturdays, consider how sustaining your participation over time can be a potent source of support for maintaining a sense of balance and wellbeing in the midst of a busy professional life.
For a further description of Courage Saturdays see the posting for February 25th.
The daylong events will be led by Cat Greenstreet and Eric Baylin, both of whom are Courage & Renewal® facilitators, affiliated with The Center for Courage & Renewal.
Eric Baylin, M.F.A., recently completed his preparation to be a Courage to Teach® Facilitator through the Center for Courage and Renewal. An art teacher for forty-two years, Eric has spent the last twenty-five at Packer Collegiate Institute in Brooklyn where he has taught in all divisions and also served as Department Chair. He was a Klingenstein Fellow at Columbia Teachers College in 1990-91 and in the last several years has offered NYSAIS workshops and consulted in a number of independent schools about using the Critical Friends collaborative approach to professional development.
Cat Greenstreet, M.A., M.Ed. has been co-facilitating Courage to Teach®/Courage to Lead® renewal retreats for teachers and other service professionals since 2005. A teacher for over twenty-five years, Cat has devoted the last 20 years to Waldorf education: as an elementary and high school teacher, as the Director of Teacher Education at Sunbridge College in Rockland County, and as the Lower School Chair at the Rudolf Steiner School in Manhattan. She is currently working as an educational consultant.
Registration - The fee includes a continental breakfast, lunch, and all materials.
Early Registration Fees apply until 2 weeks before the event
Regular Registration Fees apply within 2 weeks of the event