When it comes right down to it, it was a dream come true.
The dream I’d been toying with for a year or so was to host a live event for San Diego teachers (and those nearby) where I could share The Zen Teacher message and where, just maybe, I could offer local teachers some respite from the stressors they encountered on a daily basis in their jobs.
On Saturday, April 27, 2019, that dream became a reality.
My goal was to create an event where teachers could feel pampered and listened to, two experiences modern American educators rarely get.
I was merely gauging interest when I sent out a few tweets and an Instagram post that said, if you would be interested in a Zen Teacher mini-summit, drop your email address and I’ll keep you posted, but someone came out of the woodwork (hat tip to local high school English teacher, Anna Savino) who said, “I think I know a place.”
So on Saturday, April 27, 2019, and with the indispensable help of Ms. Savino, The Zen Teacher Retreat took place at a co-working space called WeWork. Twelve teachers converged on a gorgeous boardroom in downtown San Diego and what you see below is the end result.
There was food and drink:
I gave an hour long Zen Teacher workshop presentation (Hey, I figured it was MY event, so I get to be the keynote speaker).
There were three breakout sessions, including. .
And chair massages.
And just for fun, there was a photo booth:
Here are a couple other cool pics from the event:
And I even got to sign some books!
Teachers came from as far away as Los Angeles and El Centro to reduce their stress and improve their self-care. Two teachers came from my own school and there were several others who came who I’d grown to know via social media over the years, but had never met in person. Until now.
As they left, many of the teachers said they felt so relaxed that they knew they were much more prepared to make it through the end of the school year, so I figured, mission accomplished.
It was an honor to host these teachers and to offer them an opportunity to take care of themselves. For a few hours one spring morning, a handful of teachers felt pampered and listened to. What’s better than that?
I don’t know if this will happen again–or what form it will take if it does–but the one thing I learned is that it should.
The thing is: No one’s taking care of teachers.
But they sure deserve it.
So I’m going to challenge you:
Steal my idea.
Find a place.
Seek out someone who knows meditation.
Hire a yoga teacher for a couple hours.
Book a chair massage therapist.
Take care of a group of teachers in your area.
I would love to see the idea of pampered, listened to teachers spread like wildfire.
On second thought, the thought of that is actually kind of overwhelming.
And maybe even a little scary.
Because you know what a calm, relaxed, rested educator is capable of?
Here are some of the comments that participants pushed out on Twitter right after the event:
What a wonderful way to end Spring Break. I feel rejuvenated and ready to finish the year.
Incredibly awesome time at the Zen Teacher Retreat this morning. Loved everyone and everything.
What a fabulous morning. Thank you. . .for the pampering, teaching, and love. Excited for the next retreat.
And here is what some other teachers said when they heard about what we’d done: