Workers in almost every profession are subject to burnout, fatigue and frustration, and teachers are no different.

That’s why this Saturday, March 22, a Corvallis educator and facilitator will hold a special workshop for teachers meant to rejuvenate their passion for their work.

Chris Love will be teaching the Courage to Teach Workshop from 9:30 a.m. until 4:30 p.m. at the Bitterroot College in Hamilton. She is a former English teacher and current adjunct faculty member at the Bitterroot College. The workshop, which is based on the work of author and activist Parker J. Palmer, is sort of a condensed version of the multi-day retreats of the same name. It’s open to all preschool, primary, secondary and post-secondary teachers, and K-12 teachers earn six continuing education credits through the Montana Office of Public Instruction.

“It’s kind of a toe in the water experience,” Love explained. “It’s kind of a sampler of a Courage to Teach retreat. This is the first time we’ve had it in Ravalli County. It celebrates teachers for the work they do. Teachers are bombarded by so much, whether it’s changes in civility by families or No Child Left Behind requirements. There’s a lot of stress in the job, and this program is meant to develop teachers in their resources to cope with the challenges they deal with every day.”

The Courage to Teach program employs over 200 facilitators like Love who teach similar workshops for attorneys, health care providers, nonprofit workers and others who face frustrations on the job.

“My goal is to help develop inner resources to give teachers the ability to face the challenges they face every day,” Love said. “It’s a six hour experience, and participants will learn reflective practices that can reinforce ones’ inner strength through journaling and poetry. They can react to that on a personal and professional level. There will be small group discussions and one large group. It’s a celebration of their chosen profession.”

Love said that although participants are invited to speak honestly about their lives, silence is also completely accepted.

“I’ve had a few folks that have gone all the way through without saying anything, and I honor that,” she said.

Registration is being accepted through Friday. The fee is $85, which includes lunch and materials, and scholarships are available by calling 375-0100.

The location of the conference will be at the conference room at Bitterroot College at 274 Old Corvallis Road in Hamilton. To register visit http://umt.edu/bcp or for questions contact Patty Skinner at 375-0100.

Reach reporter David Erickson at 363-3300 or david.erickson@ravallirepublic.com.

Reporter David Erickson can be reached at david.erickson@ravallirepublic.com.

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