Skip to Content

inner teacher

From Good to Great in the Classroom

“I was a good teacher. Why were my students so disinterested?” Amy Swenson asked herself. Her teacher evaluations confirmed she was good at what she did. “Mrs. Swenson has high expectations, excellent knowledge of content, good classroom management.” Still she suspected something was missing. Amy decided to attend a Courage to Teach retreat led by  Continue Reading »

The Great Potential to be Whole

For our first gathering as Fellows of the Beatitudes Society, I volunteered to be a focus person in one of the clearness committees. Never had I imagined what the experience would do for me. The process has provided great clarity, has offered me guidance, and has helped me uncover inner tools to face life questions  Continue Reading »

Rethinking the Violence of Modern Life

Sometimes, when I talk about the value of contemplation, someone will say that contemplation is a cop-out, an escape from the world’s needs. But my experience with activism tells me otherwise, and this quote from Thomas Merton explains why. When we fall into the frenzy of overwork, we do violence to ourselves and kill “the  Continue Reading »

Looking deeper inside our students and ourselves

by  (August 15, 2013) I’ve found when I tried or looked deeper inside What appears unadorned might be wondrously formed You can’t always tell but sometimes you just know –Carrie Newcomer, “Geodes” Are teachers still able to know their students beyond their test performances? Many, especially teachers in schools that have been declared failures, are  Continue Reading »

Transitions and Farewell

How do geese know when to fly to the sun? Who tells them the seasons? How do we, humans know when it is time to move on? As with the migrant birds, so surely with us, there is a voice within if we would only listen to it, that tells us certainly when to go  Continue Reading »

Politics from the Heart: An Interview with Parker J. Palmer

After five years as a community organizer, Parker J. Palmer became enamored with the Quaker tradition of social justice. He believes when “we, the people” re-examine connections to beliefs and communities, it creates an opportunity to heal an ailing democracy. I encountered the work of Parker J. Palmer in the early 1990s, when a friend  Continue Reading »

The Power of Pause

Spring is the season of commencement addresses and I was inspired by the message that Maria Shriver delivered at the Annenberg School of Communications, her alma mater. She says, “I have one wish for you. Before you go out and press that fast forward button, I’m hoping – I’m praying – that you’ll have the  Continue Reading »

Learning to Speak from My Soul

A non-incarcerated student from the Inside-Out Prison Exchange Program shares from a semester-end speech about how Parker J. Palmer’s book A Hidden Wholeness turned her life around. I am what the program calls an “outside” student. It is a rare opportunity, to be able to enter into a prison and engage with the individuals behind  Continue Reading »