Our courses provide educators with practices and principles for
- Supporting students’ social, emotional, inner life, and academic development;
- Sustaining their own authentic and intentional teaching practice; and
- Fostering positive faculty and school culture.
Explore Our Courses:
Explore the five dimensions of engaged teaching — a framework that cultivates our capacity to joyfully and effectively meet the complex demands of our profession. Throughout the course we will engage in core practices and principles that support educators to develop and sustain a reflective teaching practice, manage stress, cultivate our own social and emotional intelligence, and successfully collaborate with colleagues.
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Mindfulness is a natural human capacity to pay attention to our experience as it is happening in real time. When we intentionally cultivate this capacity through practice we enhance our ability to focus, to regulate our emotions and to extend compassion and kindness to ourselves and others.
When we infuse mindfulness throughout our day we not only reduce our stress and find better ways to respond to the challenges of life, but we also expand our capacity for joy and wonder.
An emerging field of research into the effects and benefits of mindfulness across diverse populations and in diverse settings is providing compelling and growing evidence that cultivating mindfulness through regular practice enhances physical, social and emotional wellbeing.
Mindfulness Programs Offerings:
- SMART in Education:Stress Management and Relaxation Techniques in Education™
- SMART in Education is an evidenced-based personal renewal program designed especially for educators working in K-12 settings. It is one of only two researched mindfulness programs for educators and others who work in schools. It is the center of a growing eco-system of mindfulness offerings from PassageWorks.
- The Mindful Teacher: Bringing Presence and Practices to the Classroom
- A year-long program for those who have completed SMART 1 or have had an equivalent introduction to a personal mindfulness practice.
- Mindfulness Learning Community: A Practice Network for Educators
- Monthly meetings (online or in-person) to support an ongoing personal practice and bringing a mindful presence to the classroom. Intended for those who have completed SMART 1 or have had an equivalent introduction to a personal mindfulness practice
- Working with the Stress of School Leadership: An Introduction to Mindfulness for Principals and Assistant Principals
- A two-night retreat in the mountains to introduce mindfulness to building leaders.
- Half Day Saturday Retreats
- Monthly gatherings throughout the school year to support and renew a personal mindfulness practice. Open to any educator who has already been introduced to mindfulness practices.
- Introduction to Mindfulness and Stress Reduction Workshops
- Custom tailored offerings for schools and districts that build on the SMART in Education curriculum. These can range from one hour to one day, from one session to several.
For more information on bringing mindfulness to your school or district, please contact Rona Wilensky, Director of Mindfulness Programs, firstname.lastname@example.org.
Cultural Responsiveness for Educators
A child’s background should not determine what they’re able to do in life… ~ Pedro Noguera at Hinckley High School
Culturally responsive pedagogy has long been described by a number of researchers as an effective means of meeting both the academic and the social needs of students from diverse racial and ethnic backgrounds (Gay, 2000, Ladson-Billings, 1994). Teachers and school leaders are increasingly engaging students from cultural, ethnic, racial, linguistic, and social class backgrounds different from their own. It is essential that we provide educators with professional learning that builds the knowledge, skills, and dispositions to effectively educate students from diverse cultural backgrounds. Culturally responsive leadership builds a learning community of “inclusive excellence” and produces schools that embody excellence and equity.
Brief Program Description
The Culturally Responsive Leadership Program is a 2 ½ day program designed for school leaders, teacher leaders, and teacher mentors. The program will focus on transforming educator perspectives and practices to create learning environments and experiences that engage students from diverse cultural backgrounds. Participants will engage in experiential activities that access knowledge from professional practice, from relevant research, and from the book, The 5 Dimensions of Engaged Teaching. The program will explore the aspirations, attitudes, knowledge, skills, and behaviors that characterize a culturally responsive pedagogy. Specifically the program will support teachers to acknowledge and respond to cultural differences in ways that build relationships with students and support social justice. Program participants will collaborate on developing new approaches and classroom strategies that engage “all students regardless of their race, gender, ethnic background or learning style.”*
The program will include discussion and reflection on segments from the film: Cracking the Codes: The System of Racial Inequity. The film describes a “systemic approach to understanding racial inequity as a precursor to building strategies that address racial and socio-economic barriers.”
A private course will be held for Aurora Public Schools in October 2015 (sample flyer). A public course is planned to be offered in 2016 in the Denver Metro region.