Courageous Schools Conference 2012

Honoring Teaching as a Calling

Keynote Speaker Martin Brokenleg

Photo © Christopher L. Smith

Hundreds of educators and education leaders attended our 3rd annual Courageous Schools conference at Bank Street College in New York City on May 19, 2012. Our theme, Honoring Teaching as a Calling, was carried throughout the day of workshops and talks, including by keynote speaker Martin Brokenleg and Courageous Teacher Award honoree Lauren Fardig-Diop.  



Morningside Center's Courageous Schools Conference on May 19, 2012.

Photo © Christopher Smith

"More than Regents pass rates and how to write an analytical essay, I have always aimed to teach my students about reading, writing and communicating as a member of a society, as a member of a global population.

I want them to explore the world and always keep asking questions, to stand up when they see that something is not right, to use their voices and be heard. I don't see a disconnect between being an English teacher and teaching about Iraqi refugees, or Trayvon Martin, Occupy Wall Street or race relations in the United States. I am more interested that my students graduate with purpose, with a desire to learn that is voracious, that will continue long past the bell rings and their formalized education ends....

I know that we are all exhaling a huge sigh of relief because June is within our reach, but I encourage you to press on; keep teaching how you know is right, every day that you have kids sitting in front of you. I encourage you to teach from the heart, no matter what subject you're working within, whether you're teaching at a university or coaching a team. Heart is what is missing from education today, and it is up to us to bring the soul back to this system."