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The Courage to Teach

This book builds on a simple premise: good teaching cannot be reduced to technique; good teaching comes from the identity and integrity of the teacher.
—Parker J. Palmer, The Courage to Teach


You may know The Courage to Teach: Exploring the Inner Landscape of a Teacher’s Life as one of the best books you’ve ever read as an educator. Read the first chapter here, The Heart of a Teacher.

Watch and listen to Courage to Teach Conversations.

Courage to Teach focuses neither on technique, nor directly on school reform, but rather on renewing the inner lives of professionals in education.

Courage to Teach® programs help teachers:

  • Renew heart, mind, and spirit through the exploration of the inner landscape of a teacher’s life.
  • Reconnect to one’s identity and integrity—identifying and honoring gifts and strengths, and acknowledging limits.
  • Create a context for careful listening and deep connection that also honors diversity in person and profession.
  • Create safe spaces and trusting relationships in their schools, with their students and colleagues, and within their communities.
  • Explore the connection between attending to the inner life of educators and the renewal of public education.

Read more research and evaluation of The Courage to Teach programs.

Each Courage to Teach program consists of twenty to thirty educators. In large-group, small-group, and solitary settings, “the heart of a teacher” is explored, making use of personal stories, reflections on classroom practice, and insights from poets, storytellers, and various wisdom traditions.

Programs for Whole School Teams

Our program called Leading Together supports whole school change by bringing the principles and practices of the Courage to Teach® program into schools. This evidence-based professional development program supports whole school change initiatives by strengthening shared leadership, positive relationships, and relational trust in the adult community.

Educator Events on the Calendar

Date Event


The Soul Never Forgets: Leading from Your Deepest Values, Finding Sanctuary, A Courage & Renewal® Retreat
Cranaleith Spiritual Retreat Center – Philadelphia, PA


Pilgrimage: Transformation through Travel, A Courage & Renewal Workshop
Hamilton’s Grill Room – Lambertville, NJ


Open Heart, Peaceful Mind: A Retreat for Rest & Reflection
Pendle Hill – Wallingford, PA


Leading Together: a Courage to Lead program
Lewis & Clark Graduate School of Education and Counseling, South Chapel – Portland, OR


Courage to Lead Program for Educational Administrators
Menucha Retreat & Conference Center – Corbett, OR


Leading for Democracy: A Courage to Lead Retreat for Women
Menucha Retreat & Conference Center – Corbett, OR


Walk in Beauty: Pilgrimage of El Camino de Santiago, Spain, the North Coast Route (A Kinder Camino)
Santiago de Compostela, Spain