Courage to Teach

Courage to Teach® is a professional development opportunity that offers retreats for the personal and professional renewal of teachers, administrators and others in the public schools.
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"I would not be where I am without the opportunity for reflection, the purposeful intention, the support of other Courage participants and, especially the guidance and care of the facilitators."
-Teri O'Donnell, Maria Carrillo High School Biology Teacher


The program is designed for the educators on whom our society depends on for so much, but for whom we provide so little encouragement and support. The retreats focus on neither technique nor school reform, but on renewing the inner lives of professionals in education.

The program offers educators opportunities to reflect on the inner dimensions of teaching and leading. Each retreat consists of 25-25 participants who gather to engage in honest self-reflection and explore questions about purpose, values, and commitment to their challenging work. In doing so, they increase their capacity to listen to self and others more deeply.

In large group, small group, and solitary settings, the heart of the educator is explored by making use of stories from their own journeys, reflections on classroom practice, and insights from poets, story-tellers, and diverse wisdom traditions. Participants are invited to speak honestly about their lives and work, and to listen and respond to each other and to themselves with encouragement and compassion.

Skilled facilitators are at the heart of this work. All Courage Facilitators have been trained by the Center for Courage and Renewal, founded by esteemed educator Parker J. Palmer. Their work is to create a trustworthy space a circle of trust within which participants explore their inner lives and vocational and life questions.