Our best teaching comes from bringing who we are (our passions and creativity) to what we do. But this kind of authentic, heart-centered engagement with our work is hard to maintain in the face of the energy-draining demands of today’s education system that appears to focus more on test results than on the humanity of teachers and their students. We need time to reconnect with ourselves and find new inspiration within the subjects we teach.
This course will help renew participants’ enthusiasm for their work by reflecting on their own teaching journey and exploring the stories of other teachers. Throughout the course, participants will keep a journal in which to make several (or more frequent), weekly entries.
Participants will have time to reflect upon what has meaning for them and to examine how to make that inspiration come alive again in their teaching. Accounts from the lives of teachers from our text – Stories of the Courage to Teach – (which is based on Parker Palmer’s work) will be our mirror. Many of the teachers featured in this anthology have, at various junctures, been on the verge of exhaustion, and the book is, in many ways, a sustained meditation on how they have sought to regain their emotional and spiritual strength.
Required Reading in addition to the course text: Mike Seymour's article on, Why & How to Keep a Personal Journal, can be found below the bibliography section of the syllabus.
Four inspirational films (all available from Netflix) will offer time for further reflection. They can include a number of movies chosen from Dead Poet’s Society, Freedom Writers, Hoosiers, Stand & Deliver, The Great Debaters, Mr. Holland’s Opus and Remember the Titans, or others of your own selection.
We advise you to review and download a summary of the course syllabus
Classroom culture is a mysterious mix with no recipe and yet it is the special sauce for a happy curriculum and student learning. Refresh your teaching as you learn more about enhancing a culture of thinking in your pre-K-12 classroom. Review the 8 familiar forces which focus students on learning vs. work and build a supportive matrix with your colleagues while you do it. Text $16 at Amazon.