Courage to Teach® Summer ’19 Edition: Renewing Your Heart as an Educator. July 12-14

Summer 2019 Theme:

To Live Like A River Flows

“I would like to live like a river flows, carried on by the surprise of its own unfolding.”  John O’Donohue

“Find the time to make this a priority, even if you are not a retreat person.” – professor of graduate studies

“Give yourself a beautiful gift.” – administrator of a rural early childhood center

Frequently Asked Questions are found below this next section. Green JRC CTT July 2019 Bulletin Board PM JPEG 2

“Self-care is never a selfish act – it is simply good stewardship of the only gift I have, the gift I was put on earth to offer others.  Anytime we can listen to true self, and give it the care it requires, we do so not only for ourselves,  but for the many others whose lives we touch.”  ~Parker J. Palmer

Ready to register?  Click Here to Begin Your Application.

Applications are handled through EventBrite.  You do not to need create an EventBrite account to use that service. You can pay with credit card through EventBrite or by check to Tony Vento, 4010 John Avenue, Cleveland, Ohio, 44113.  If you have difficulty registering contact Tony directly at 216-313-0546 or via

FAQs for July 12-14, 2019 Retreat

When: Friday, July 12, 6pm (Dinner at 5pm) until Sunday, July 14, 1 pm

Where: Jesuit Retreat Center  • 5629 State Rd, Cleveland, OH 44134 • Phone: (440) 884-9300  •  57 acres of lush forest, meadows and trails

What: Experience Courage to Teach, the premier program helping teachers (re)connect who they are with what they do. Over 25,000 educators across the United States have participated, rekindling and fueling their wholeheartedness for educating.

Each seasonal program offers fresh themes and content, on a two-year cycle.

Summer 2019 Theme: Explore your inner wisdom to lead a more authentic and engaged life. (Re)Discover the hidden wholeness rooted within, as we welcome the gifts of solitude and community. As educators, how can the life cycle of rivers inspire our everyday journeys? Come join others who understand challenges of sustaining passion for educating.

Who: Open to all educators, administration, staff, trustees in preK-12 and higher education, from public, private, religious, charter, non-sectarian and community settings. This includes those in the classroom or beyond including clergy, pastoral staff, coaches, child care workers, community educators and organizers, and all those who shape learning for others, whether paid or unpaid, whether or not with previous experience in this gently powerful approach.

Why:  Remember why you became an educator in the first place.

The world needs more wholehearted educators. Inner work can change the outer world of teachers, students, classrooms, schools and communities.  Professional development through reflective practices feeds hope & resilience, both as antidotes & preventatives to burn-out.

Outcomes: For a summary of the outcomes from Courage to Teach, as seen in rigorous evaluations, please see

“The experience was extremely valuable and continues to impact my day-to-day life.” – high school educator

Previous Courage to Teach programs in Ohio average a satisfaction rating of 4.8 out of 5 based on a composite of 11 subcategories. CWRU professor of evaluation Dr. Robert Fischer finds that “for many, CTT has allowed them to set in place new ways of thinking and new behaviors that increase their ability to handle stress and avoid burn-out. Full report available.

“The retreats introduce you to practices that stay with you and are useful at those moments in your life when discernment is calling.” – community adult educator

How: This retreat is based on the Circle of Trust® approach developed by Parker J. Palmer and the Center for Courage & Renewal. For a summary of the innovative process, please visit the Center for Courage and Renewal. There you can find extensive resources about Courage to Teach including stories, online resourcespodcasts, and books. Please note that Clearness Committees, a communal process of discernment and the hallmark of the Courage & Renewal approach, will be included in this retreat.

“It’s a space where you can be who you are. There is no pressure to share. Your heart will be moved by the rich images and stories as you begin to see your life reflected in them.” – participant from higher education student affairs

Application: There are 3 parts to the application:

  1. Please begin the process by registering online via EventBrite.
  2. Please write a short personal statement (no more than 2 pages, and it can be much less) that includes the following information:
  • Please briefly describe your past and current journey as an educator (someone who shapes the learning for others), what’s on your horizon (short-term or longer if you can), and how you hope to benefit from participating in Courage to Teach.
  • Please share any background information or experience that might add to the diversity of the Courage to Teach group. (Optional)

These responses are taken into account for the retreat design. It will be kept confidential among the retreat team of three and it will not be shared with others. Your personal statement can be emailed to Tony Vento via

Until both your personal statement and application fee are received, your application is not considered complete. You will be notified when your application is complete, and it will be acted upon within 10 days.

  1. Your $50 application fee is applied toward your total payment, and the fee is refundable if you are not accepted. Credit card payments are made via Eventbrite. To save credit card fees, make check payable to Tony Vento and mail to 4010 John Avenue, Cleveland OH 44113

Until both your personal statement and application fee are received, your application is not considered complete. You will be notified when your application is complete, and it will be acted upon within 10 days.

Application Deadline: June 28. These retreats often fill fast, and most Ohio retreats have had more applicants than spaces, so you are encouraged to apply early. Applications will be fielded until 22 spaces are filled. Early discount deadline: May 31. Feel free to ask Tony Vento if there are still spaces.  You may register here online or you may contact Tony to register by phone at 216-313-0546 or via email at

Tuition: Full-Tuition/Institutional Rate: $550 includes meals, lodging (single occupancy), program and materials. Partial Scholarships Rate: $290 for those who request scholarships, and for the first 10 from Catholic institutions parishes in the Diocese of Cleveland, due to anonymous donors’ underwriting. Further financial aid & payment plans are available. Please inquire with Tony Vento via or call (216) 313-0546.

Discounts: 1) Early registration $40 discount for all who apply before May 31. This discount will be applied to the remainder of your tuition after you’ve been accepted. 2) From full tuition, 5% for your 2nd retreat in Ohio, 10% for your 3rd retreat and 15% for your 4th retreat. Discounts are combinable.

CEUs and graduate credits are pending. Please inquire.

Cancellation policy: We understand that life challenges emerge and changes happen. If you must cancel please notify Tony Vento as soon as possible. Please keep in mind that once funds have been committed on your behalf, there are no refunds for your co-payment. If your slot can be filled by another admitted applicant, refunds of your co-payments are possible, except for the application fee.

For more information, please visit contact Tony Vento via or call (216) 313-0546

Ready to register?  Click Here to Begin Your Application.

We think we teach what we learned in graduate school. But we teach who we are… good teaching flows from the identity and integrity of the teacher. Teaching cannot be reduced to techniques and methods. – Parker J Palmer

How does the quality of my selfhood form—or deform—the way I relate to my students, my subject, my colleagues, my world?  How can educational institutions sustain and deepen the selfhood from which good teaching comes?  –Parker J. Palmer, The Courage to Teach


Retreat Team:

Tony Vento, President of Purpose Matters, evokes wholeheartedness and renewal with professionals, workplaces and communities in high-stress settings as a preventative and antidote to burnout. Reconnecting who you are with what you do, he provides facilitation and training with lasting results. Tony brings fresh practices for workplace culture and community network-building for mission-centered engagement serving the common good. A Facilitator prepared by Parker J Palmer and the Center for Courage & Renewal, Tony has led over 60 retreats in the past 10 years.

Alyssa Conklin-Moore is an A.M.I Montessori educator (0-6) and mother of two.  She is being trained as a Facilitator by the Center for Courage & Renewal.  She speaks internationally for organizations advancing peace education, social change and human rights.

Dr. Deborah Zawislan is President of Connexions, llc, a professional development firm helping individuals connect to what matters through work-place learning, executive coaching and leadership development programs. Deborah is an adjunct professor, certified coach, spiritual director and has provided support for Courage to Teach retreats.


“The question we most commonly ask is the “what” question—what subjects shall we teach?

When the conversation goes a bit deeper, we ask the “how” question—what methods and techniques are required to teach well?

Occasionally, when it goes deeper still, we ask the “why” question—for what                 purpose and to what ends do we teach?

But seldom, if ever, do we ask the “who” question—who is the self that teaches?”

“How does the quality of my selfhood form—or deform—the way I relate to my students, my subject, my colleagues, my world?  How can educational institutions sustain and deepen the selfhood from which good teaching comes?”

–Parker J. Palmer, The Courage to Teach