Courage to Teach 2018-19 Professional Renewal Retreat Series for Educators

Applications are now being accepted for the 2018-19 Courage to Teach retreat series at Bethel Horizons, near Governor Dodge State Park.   This year-long series of four sessions (Friday evening through Sunday afternoon) is based on the work of noted educator, writer, and activist, Parker J. Palmer.  Educators experience extended time to explore “the heart of a teacher” and reconnect with their core values and the passion that brought them into teaching.  Each retreat follows a seasonal theme, using the rich metaphors of nature, reflections on personal stories and classroom practice, poetry, and insights from various wisdom traditions.  Dates for the retreats are:  Nov. 2-4, 2018; Jan. 18-20; April 5-7; June 28-30 (all 2019). 

Based on evaluations gathered over the last 16 years, participants consistently report:

  • Renewed satisfaction and commitment to their profession;
  • Improved connections with students and classroom practice;
  • Strengthened collegial relations at their school sites.

The following comments from recent participants are typical descriptions of the benefits of CTT:

  • Courage to Teach provided me with amazing opportunity to explore who I am and how this is brought into the classroom and how I interact and build relationships with the students I teach every single day. It is a gift of time and place to clarify one’s own thoughts, hopes and dreams throughout all four seasons.”  (2017-18 cohort member)
  • It has been a transformational experience for me in both personal and professional ways. I am so grateful for the relationships I’ve made, the self-care and reflective practices I’ve learned, and the renewed passion for being a public school educator.”  (2016-17 cohort member)

Local educators pay a total of $890 (in three installments) for the four weekends, which represents about 50% of the actual total cost of eight night’s lodging, 24 meals, facilitation and materials.  Fundraising efforts and generosity of community organizations and individuals who are willing to invest in local educators cover the other half of the costs.  Participants can apply for a maximum of four hours of graduate credit from Edgewood College, available at an addition cost of $180 per credit.

Barb Hummel and Bonnie Trudell have been co-facilitating Courage to Teach retreats for the past 16 years and are prepared by and affiliated with the Center for Courage and Renewal.  Further information and an application form are available here.  Contact Barb at ( or Bonnie ( with questions.