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Courage in Schools

Programs for Teachers, Educators and Administrators

Teaching, like any truly human activity, emerges from one’s inwardness, for better or worse. As I teach, I project the condition of my soul onto my students, my subject, and our way of being together.
Move See all—Parker J. Palmer, The Courage to Teach

Courage in Schools encompasses the range of programs offered by Courage & Renewal facilitators.

Courage to Teach®

Renewal for Life & Work:  Courage to Teach® is a program of stand-alone retreats or quarterly series of retreats for the personal and professional renewal of educators. The Courage to Teach  programs, based on the book by Parker J. Palmer, focus on renewing the inner lives of professionals in education.

Leading Together: Strengthening Relational Trust in Schools

Transforming Teams:  A pilot study of a multi-year professional development experience for K-12 school leadership teams, designed to build their capacity to facilitate positive relationships among all the adults in the school community and develop the trust and social capital necessary to improve the quality of instruction in the classroom, implementation of SEL programs, and outcomes for students. Learn more about Leading Together and see research reports from the University of Virginia and Tufts.

• Courage to Lead for Educators

Courage To Lead for Educators is a program for school leaders and administrators (principals, deans, department heads, teacher leaders, etc.). The aim of the program is to help school leaders sustain and renew their passion, enthusiasm and commitment to school leadership and to the communities they serve. Contact Program Director Margaret Golden.

Presentations & keynotes

Find an Expert: Courage & Renewal facilitators with experience in education are available to present at local, regional and national conferences with interest in the approaches available through Courage in Schools. For assistance, contact Program Director Margaret Golden and also see our Facilitator Directory.

Why Courageous Teaching Matters

Think back to a teacher who made a difference in your young life, a teacher who saw more in you than you saw in yourself. Spend some time contemplating how much richer your life has been because of that teacher’s life-giving and perhaps life-changing support. Feel the gratitude that comes from realizing that a teacher went above and beyond the call of duty to help you become who you are today.

Then do whatever you can to support this generation of American classroom heroes as they, in turn, nurture our precious children.

American Teacher

“How can we help today’s teachers touch and transform their students the way we were touched by the teachers who changed our lives?”
That’s the question America needs to focus on today. Sadly, American teachers are too often treated by politicians, the press, and the public as scapegoats for problems that the rest of us lack the wit or the will to solve. It’s all too easy to point to “educational failures” such as chronic underachievement among certain student populations, to pin the blame on “bad teachers,” and to propose yet another policy that involves achievement tests and punishments for teachers whose students fall below the norm.
But every thoughtful observer of America’s “educational failures” understands that the root cause is not “incompetent” or “lazy” teachers. The root cause is poverty and all that flows from it, depriving children of the resources they need—from adequate nutrition to strong adult support—to succeed at school.** The American public needs help cutting through the disinformation that keeps us from understanding that teachers are heroes, not goats. These heroes keep returning to their posts for the love of children, despite the fact that their work is too often maligned, too many are underpaid, and our schools are under-financed. (Read the complete article in Parker J. Palmer’s Foreword to American Teacher: Heroes in the Classroom)

**  New data shows school “reformers” are full of it. Poor schools underperform largely because of economic forces, not because teachers have it too easy… (See article at

Featured Video

Enjoy this video featuring one of our Courage & Renewal facilitators, Debbie Stanley, on how she brought Courage & Renewal into the classroom.

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