A Unique Approach to Professional Development

Most teacher professional development focuses on curriculum delivery. CARE for Teachers is different because it promotes core skills and dispositions teachers need to create and maintain supportive learning environments while retaining their well-being and love of teaching.

Teaching is one of the most rewarding professions, but it can also be one of the most stressful. CARE is a unique program designed to help teachers reduce stress and enliven their teaching by promoting awareness, presence, compassion, reflection, and inspiration – the inner resources they need to help students flourish, socially, emotionally, and academically.

Cutting-edge neuroscience confirms that practicing mindfulness facilitates awareness and self-regulation and develops the capacity for a calm, focused mind — a mind with the openness, responsiveness and sensitivity for optimal teaching, guiding, and learning. For teachers, these resources can provide the inner strength to be powerfully present and emotionally responsive. As a result, teachers become effective guides, and influential models of healthy social and emotional behavior.

What is CARE?

CARE for Teachers is a unique professional development program that helps teachers handle the stresses and rediscover the joys of teaching. Developed by the Garrison Institute to meet the specific needs of K-12 teachers, CARE is not another curriculum and does not increase teachers’ workload. Instead, it offers them tools and resources for reducing stress, preventing burnout, enlivening teaching and helping students thrive socially, emotionally and academically.

How does CARE work?

Based upon current research on the neuroscience of emotion, CARE introduces emotion skills instruction to promote understanding, recognition and regulation of emotion. To reduce stress, and to promote awareness and presence applied to teaching, CARE introduces basic mindfulness activities, such as short periods of silent reflection, and progresses to activities that demonstrate how to bring mindfulness to challenging situations teachers often encounter. Through these activities, teachers learn to bring greater calm, mindfulness and awareness into the classroom to enhance their relationships with their students, their classroom management, and curricular implementation. The CARE program also promotes empathy and compassion through caring practice and mindful listening activities.

The CARE program is designed to be presented in four day-long sessions spread out over four to five weeks. Intersession coaching via phone and internet supports teachers’ practice and application of new skills. The program involves a blend of didactic instruction and experiential activities, including time for reflection and discussion. Teachers who have completed the program say they found it relaxing, enjoyable and inspiring. The Garrison Institute works with schools to develop sustainability and provide ongoing support for teachers. The CARE curriculum has been piloted in several sites across the US, in Colorado, California, Pennsylvania, and New York. It has also been adapted to support teachers and clinical staff at a school for children who have been exposed to trauma. 

CARE for Teachers is also offered annually as a five-day summer retreat at the Garrison Institute. Click the button below to sign up for this year’s retreat.