Inner Practices for Teachers: Deepening Presence and Interconnection in Your Classroom

with Jackie Kaufman

July 21 - 25, 2012

A Joint Presentation of Tail of the Tiger and St. Michael’s College, at Karmê Chöling, Barnet, VT

3.0 Credits awarded by St. Michael’s College, Colchester, VT

Many teachers are drawn to the profession by their passion for teaching and learning, only to discover that there are causes and conditions outside school, and outside the teacher’s control, that can adversely affect how kids learn.  Even in the classroom, political and economic factors can dictate an emphasis on test scores that hinders the teacher’s ability to create the kind of relationship conducive to effective teaching and learning. Teachers are inundated by new initiatives and forms of evaluation that can make test scores more important than creating the authentic and meaningful relationships that precede effective teaching and learning and that teachers know to be essential for relevant work to take place across the school year.

In this climate, it is more important than ever that we teachers take time to explore and nourish our inner calling to teach. For how can we offer authentic presence and caring to our students unless we make it a practice to consistently offer it to ourselves?

Through provocative readings, contemplative discussion, journal writing, quiet time in the natural world, brush stroke, and movement, this 3.0 credit graduate class invites teachers, counselors and administrators to explore and embody personal inner practices that bring a greater awareness of our inner lives and contribute to a pedagogy based on caring and compassion.

This retreat begins with an opening session from 7:30 to 9:00 pm on July 21, and ends with lunch on July 25.

Inner Practices alums have observed:

I am more energetic, spontaneous, and happy in the classroom than I have ever been.  Students are asking deeper thinking questions, and are much more caring towards each other.  As a result, true, deep learning is happening. As evidence of that, grades are going up.”  (Middle School Science Teacher)

This is the best course I have ever taken anywhere. (High School Honors Social Studies Teacher)

This course changed my life. (Tech Center Teacher)

Class size limited to 14.

Directions to Karmê Chöling: I-91, Exit 18 Barnet/Peacham.  Proceed west about ¼ mile and turn at Patneaude Lane, second street on right. After crossing the bridge over the Stevens River, proceed to parking lot.

Program price includes 3 college credit charge.


Program Fee: $550

Financial Aid

Karmê Chöling offers interest-free payment plans, scholarships, and other financial assistance.

Please Note:
Price includes meals but not accommodations.

Online registration is not currently open.


About Jackie Kaufman

Jacqueline Kaufman is a Vermont English teacher and a 14-year veteran of Alternative Education Programs. She currently practices at BFA St. Albans where her innovative coursework for teenagers emphasizes the redemptive power of writing and sharing their personal stories. She earned her Master's in Contemplative Education at Naropa University in 2007, writing a thesis about compassion as the basis for effective pedagogy. She became an Adjunct Professor at St. Michael's College Graduate Program in Education in 2008 when she wrote and began teaching this course, Inner Practices: Deepening Presence and Interconnection in Your Classroom.

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