Renew Your Spirit: Explore the Seeds of Your Teaching Work

Susan Kaplan
Music Therapy Track
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Everything is blooming most recklessly; if it were voices instead of colors, there would be an unbelievable shrieking into the heart of the night.” ~ Rainer Maria Rilke

As teachers we have dedicated our professional and personal life to serving others. Yet many of us experience teaching as demanding and challenging, as we face the daily tensions of meeting the needs of our students in a complicated system that doesn’t always support our vision.

These pressures can create a sense of dividedness or fragmentation in our professional lives, contributing to burn out, disengagement, bitterness, and/or a struggle between care of self and our students. The more passionate we are about our vision and purpose, the more vital it is to take time to renew our spirits.

Courage & Renewal Listening Practices create a focused & disciplined space, in which the noise within us can subside so we can begin to hear our inner voice. We will practice “hearing each other into speech”.

Using the rich metaphors of springtime, you’ll have time to replenish your spirit and sense of purpose. We’ll explore questions, such as: What brought me into a life of serving children and families? In what ways has the “muddiness” of teaching dampened my spirits? What seeds do I want to plant this spring that will sustain my spirits over time?

Take time to catch up with yourself and to listen to your own inner voice. Come renew your sense of vitality, experience courage to lead with a more authentic voice and increase your capacity to be more present – to yourself and your students. Imbue your leadership role as a teacher with the liveliness of your inner voice.

Believe that you can leave more refreshed than you thought possible. Re-capture your spirit and courage to serve others.

Inspired by the work of Parker Palmer, who wrote The Courage to Teach and A Hidden Wholeness: The Journey Towards an Undivided Life.


Susan Kaplan, M.S.W., M.P.A., R.Y.T., believes reflective and compassionate listening is essential for living an undivided life.  To sustain our professional lives, we must explore questions, rather than having to find “the right answer”.    These practices help us bring balance and clarity to our lives.  Listening & Leading From Within®, is Susan’s invitation to hear what truly matters to me and to you. She works with school communities, organizations and community groups.

As a Courage & Renewal Facilitator®, Susan provides: Seasonal, Courage to Teach, and Cross-Professional Leadership Development Retreats; Walking with Loss – finding light amongst the shattered pieces; Engaging & Healing Differences for Schools; and Colorado Courage Diversity Initiative.

She is a Certified Trainer Candidate (Center for Nonviolent Communication) and Rocky Mountain Compassionate Communication Network Facilitator, providing life-enriching programs based on Marshall Rosenberg’s Nonviolent Communication, i.e. Living a Compassionate Life; The Heart of Parenting & Teaching; Change the Face of Anger; Dealing with Difficult People; Bridging Introverts & Extroverts; Healing Generational Pain; and Power of Empathy.   Susan is a Storyteller & Story Listener® for peace wrestling, Yoga Teacher, an early childhood provider, and a Restorative Justice School Facilitator (Olive Branch Resolution).  She has written a children’s story “Learning to be A Mensch”, in Frijoles, Elotes, y Chipotles, Oh My! & Other Tummy Tales and Engaging  & Healing Differences Workbook.   

Susan Kaplan's website