Friday, June 15, 2007

Courage to Teach

I have just spent the last three days in the most amazing retreat imaginable. Courage to Teach has been truly a gift to me. When you are a teacher, there are conferences and workshops you can go to amongst the lesson planning, grading, curriculum mapping, and tons of reading we do. What of that nourishes your soul? Everything we do is for improving the work we do and it's important work. But how often do we really take the time to reflect on who we are and what our purpose is? Where do we celebrate that? Where are we given the opportunity to spend time with the most amazing teachers and just share in their joy?

This week was our Summer Retreat and we were celebrating abundance. And that we did. Every teacher was to make a personal statement. We were given 1/2 an hour. The recommendation was that you speak for 15 minutes, then everyone else would take a few minutes to write an affirmation for you on a little card, and finally the chance was given for verbal affirmation. I have gotten to know many of these teachers pretty well over the retreat series, but what came out of these statements took me on a roller coaster of emotions. And I am left feeling: "I want to be like you....and you....and you...." Wow! I am truly blessed to be able to share the same space with these teachers.

My statement was last (a place I was regretting after listening to so many amazing teachers) and I stood before the group and told them I felt like a fraud among them, yet blessed to be able to learn from each of them. In usual fashion, I got wound up in my statement and storytelling and talked for over 30 minutes! And this gracious, wonderful group of people let me have every minute I needed and celebrated my journey with me.

Courage to Teach is Parker Palmer's gift to the world. I highly recommend his books and can never put the right words to to wonder of the retreats. I am feeling totally overwhelmed and energized and renewed. Good for us for being teachers! I can't wait for summer to be over so I can get back in the classroom to see my kids!


Reader said...

This post is an interesting contrast to your previous post. Glad you enjoyed your retreat!

Evenewra said...

I found your blog by doing a Google search for "blog" and "Courage To Teach". I'm just reading it now. I'm an elementary school teacher looking for others who are willing to discuss their spirit in connection to their work as teachers. I guess I'll start watching your blog now!

(When I have time...)