Monday, April 23, 2007

Courage To Teach

Maggie Austin, Marilyn Hofer, Marlene Rothermel, and Karen Taylor

We were broken into two circles of trust and these amazing women were able to show us a glimpse into the Courage To Teach experience. I am a member of the second cohort and I honestly wondered how they were going to be able to take this program based on Parker Palmer’s work and do it justice in such a short time. I should have known better than to worry.

In a time when our lives as teachers are so incredibly busy and struggling to keep up with additional content and No Child Left Behind and advancing technologies (that the students frequently know more about than we do) and all the other pressures of our chosen career, we rarely take time to ourselves to remember or find out who we are or why we are teaching. Courage To Teach a a gift that allows you the time for reflection and support.

Personally, I was not sure I had time to be part of Courage To Teach and Marlene assured me I didn’t have time NOT to be part of this program. I will owe her forever! I have found that the retreats give me the absolute luxury of time that I never seem to have. The reflection I have done is both personal and professional. I feel the difference when I walk into my classroom. If you don’t have the opportunity to participate in the retreat program, I highly recommend reading one of Parker Palmer’s books.

The program was brought to South Dakota through the EveryTeacher grant, which is gone now. They are trying to find funding to continue, but at a cost of almost $3000 per person for the 18-month program, it may not happen. That would just be sad!

Thank you, Ladies! Well done!


maggie said...

Thank you, Sherry, for your kind words! Your enthusiasm is contagious.
It felt like we had a little oasis in the midst of the hum of excitement all the technology-talk generated...

kimberly said...

One of the presenters asked me if the "Courage to Teach" session made me uncomfortable. At first I said, "No, I was OK." But after she left I got to thinking that honestly, I was uncomfortable. But sometimes being uncomfortable is good. It helped me realize that after the challenges of this school year, I've got some healing and recharging to do to go into next year being the teacher that God created me to be.