A LETTER TO OUR PUBLIC EVENT PARTICIPANTS
First and foremost, we want to acknowledge both the grief and the tremendous workload that you’re each carrying due to school closures across the state and country. Thank you.
Like all of you, we at the Sofia Center are simultaneously trying to think about what’s possible during this challenging time. In her book Hope in the Dark, Rebecca Solnit reminds us that the word emergency contains the word emerge, that “danger and possibility are sisters.” We are wondering how we can carry out our work in ways that nurture and create possibility, while thoughtfully tending loss and struggle as well. This is our collective challenge, our shared opportunity.
As you know, we are passionate about supporting and collaborating with educators, and we know that now is a critical time. To that end, we’re designing our first virtual gatherings–open to all educators–which will be offered this April and May (see below). If you would like to receive the invitations to these events and are not already on our mailing list, please click here to join. In the meantime, we’re offering short readings, reflective questions, and invitations to action for every day of the school closure — potential resources to use with your colleagues throughout the spring. Find these/ find us on Instagram or Facebook.
Education Leaders, as many of you already know, we had to make the disappointing decision to cancel/postpone the upcoming Wild Leadership Retreat. We plan to reschedule the retreat for the fall; stay tuned for the rescheduled date.
Please don’t hesitate to reach out to us by emailing us at firstname.lastname@example.org. We know that you are each teaching and leading with such wisdom and care during this challenging time. We look forward to connecting with you virtually this spring, and in person as soon as we are able to do so once again!
Here’s to finding the emergent amidst the emergency,
Sheryl Chard, Sofia Center Director
Sarah Camp, Program Coordinator
Welcome! The Sofia Center’s public programs are designed to bring together educators from diverse schools and organizations for collegial, dynamic, and aesthetic shared learning. From the importance of play to the role of wonder, from design thinking to place-conscious education, topics and themes are chosen to offer intellectual challenge, invite reflection, and inspire individual and organizational shifts in practice. We hope you will join us.
REFLECT : INNOVATE : ACT
Connect with colleagues. Investigate a topic. Refuel and rethink your practice. Act!
Reflect : Innovate : Act is a monthly series of monthly seminars and workshops open to educators throughout the community. These events encourage professional inquiry and shared expertise, while also offering rich content, inspiration, and an aesthetic experience that honors the passion and hard work of educators. Each month we investigate a different topic or issue, and sessions are led by the Sofia Center Director and educators from across the community. Sofia Center participants represent a wide range of schools and organizations, including public, charter, and private schools, pre-K through university level. Since launching Reflect : Innovate : Act in January 2013, we have been thrilled to welcome educators from over 250 schools and organizations.
The 2019-2020 Reflect : Innovate : Act Series
Join our mailing list to receive invitations to our monthly events!
May 7th RIA Event
An Free Online Gathering! Register below.
Recent RIA Program Highlights
RIA Program Topics 2013-Present
|Dec2019||Walk Off the Trail--And Find the True North of Your Educator Journey||Apr2016||Restore|
|Oct2019||Social Justice in the Schoolhouse||Mar2016||Educators as Artists: National Hispanic Cultural Center|
|Sep2019||The Pedagogy of Love: Exploring the Transformative Possibilities of Centering Love in Our Education Practice||Jan2016||Colloquy 5|
|May2019||Share Your Story: Design with Us||Dec2015||Emotional Intelligence|
|Apr2019||Movie Night: Brilliant Talks + Inspired Dialogue||Nov2015||Imagination + Learning|
|Feb2019||Educators as Artists||Oct2015||Reflective Practice: Define + Discuss + Design|
|Jan2019||Mindfulness & Education with Special Guest Michelle DuVal||Sep2015||Teacher Leadership|
|Dec2018||Winter Stillness: Workshop with ABQ Poet Laureate Michelle Otero||May2015||Year in Review & Mapping the Road Ahead|
|Nov2018||Colloquy #9: Teaching + Leading with Courage in Troubled Times||Mar2015||Ritual & Ceremony in Education|
|Oct2018||Ode to the Natural World||Feb2015||Colloquy 4: Movement & Learning|
|Sep2018||The Pedagogy of Love: Exploring the Transformative Possibilities of Centering Love in Our Education Practice||Jan2015||Mindfulness and Education|
|May2018||The Science of Happiness||Dec2014||The Idea Exchange|
|Mar2018||Colloquy 8: Teaching, Leading & Taking Action in the Aftermath of School Shootings||Nov2014||Reggio Emilia & The Wonder of Learning: NM Museum of Natural History & Science|
|Feb2018||Reflective Practice: Models for Deepening Practitioner Skill & Wisdom||Oct2014||Colloquy 3: Place-Conscious Education|
|Jan2018||What's Your Superpower?||Sep2014||The Labyrinth of Teaching & Learning|
|Dec2017||Colloquy 7: Gender Equity||Apr2014||Design Thinking for Educators|
|Nov2017||The Power of Story||Mar2014||Teaching as a Creative Act|
|Oct2017||When Grief Comes to School: Navigating Grief with Students, Families, & Colleagues||Feb2014||Colloquy 2|
|Sep2017||"Education is an Act of Love" (Paulo Friere)||Jan2014||Social Justice & Cultural Competence|
|Apr2017||Ritual + Ceremony in the Schoolhouse||Dec2013||Tell Your Story: Educators Voices|
|Mar2017||Mindfulness + Education with Special Guest Michelle Duval||Nov2013||Reclaiming Wonder|
|Feb2017||Building Authentic Community Partnerships: Pedagogy, Purpose, & Models with Keynote Speaker Dr. Monica Kowal||Oct2013||Colloquy 1|
|Jan2017||Inspiration 2017||Sept2013||Listening Matters|
|Dec2016||Setting the Stage: How We Use Space, Materials, and Design for Learning||Sept2013||Building Inspirational & Innovative Professional Development Programs (Sat. Retreat)|
|Nov2016||Colloquy 6: Teaching + Leading after the Election||Apr2013||Whats Your Superpower?|
|Oct2016||The Labyrinth of Teaching + Learning, 2.0: Bosque Retreat Center||Mar2013||Seminars & Conversations|
|Sep2016||Play + Learning, Play + Leading||Feb2013||Mid-Winter Mini Retreat|
|May2016||Diversity + Equity: 3 Workshops on Race, Gender, Power and Privilege||Jan2013||Share What Works|
WILD LEADERSHIP RETREAT
What happens when we lead with a sense of wild possibility? What emerges when we shift the wild ride of leadership from something stressful or out of control to something wonderfully innovative and full of heart? Each spring, the Sofia Center brings together education leaders from public, independent, and charter schools, pre-K through University level, along with education leaders working beyond schools, for inquiry, rejuvenation, and strategy focused on leading with intention and passion.
What is Wild Leadership?
The Wild Leadership Retreat began in 2015 as an exploration of what it means to lead with courage and wisdom, defining wild as going being conventional expectations and doing so with passion. Over the last five years, the Sofia Center has developed a set of eight Wild Leadership principles, informed by a wide range of education scholars and practitioners. These principles offer a vibrant framework for our retreat and a pathway for education leaders as they navigate the challenges of leading with a strong combination of savvy skills and full heart. Please join us to expand your leadership capacity, build your leadership network, and refine your leadership mission.
See below the invitation for additional details.
What Does a Day at Wild Leadership Look Like?
Each year’s retreat includes a combination of workshops, discussion, movement, reflection, art, and toolkit building. A typical day includes optional early-morning Yoga or a walk in the bosque, followed by delicious breakfast and an opening session that explores a complex leadership topic such as the role of education leaders in shaping the culture of their schools and organizations. This might be followed by an interactive session on the importance of play or how to design and lead productive and compelling meetings. From there, participants would be invited into small-group conversation or writing. After reconnecting for lunch and conversation, the afternoon would include workshops on topics such as deepening our cultural competency or clarifying our leadership mission. The evening would include dinner in the beautiful dining room that looks out to the bosque and the mountains beyond, followed by a coffee house where participants are invited to share their writing, art, and music. You can count on at least a small group of participants talking late into the evening, often sitting outside under the Cottonwoods. You can see the 2019 Wild Leadership agenda here.
The retreat is designed both for experienced leaders in need of reconnection with the purposes of their work and a tune-up of their leadership skills, as well as for emerging leaders who are at the beginning of their leadership journeys. Past participants have included school principals, instructional coaches, department leaders, and deans, as well as education leaders working in education non-profits and government entities. Most have come from communities across New Mexico, although we have had participants from across the country. Part of the richness of the retreat is the meaningful connection forged among participants coming from diverse organizations and backgrounds. We value shared expertise and the voice and wisdom of each participant.
Who Are the Retreat Leaders?
We look forward to meeting you at the retreat and hearing your leadership story! In the meantime, here is a little bit about Sheryl, Tamisha, and Elsa, the 2020 retreat leaders. We will also be joined by guest leaders for the Yoga and Mindfulness offerings.
What Is the Retreat Center Like?
Tucked away off of a main thoroughfare in Albuquerque, the Bosque Retreat Center is a beautiful oasis on gorgeous grounds with light-filled buildings. Most sessions will take place in the Center’s Conference Room and Gathering Space, the latter with floor to ceiling windows facing east. All meals are served in the retreat center’s dining room, and we provide healthy snacks, good coffee, and other beverages throughout the retreat. The overnight accommodations are simple but elegant, located in the same building as the beautiful Gathering Space. Rooms are single occupancy, most with twin beds and a small writing table. There are private bathrooms located throughout the residence area, but they are not attached to rooms. The Bosque Retreat Center is owned by the Episcopal Diocese of the Rio Grande, and we are honored to be returning there for the sixth year. You can see more of the retreat center here.
What Participants Say about Their Experience
My experience at Wild Leadership was beyond wonderful. It gave me great tools, connections, and insight into the work I do now and what I want to do in the future.
-Giovianna Burrell, Big Brothers Big Sisters, Albuquerque
Getting the chance to meet and work with a very diverse group of educational learners is key for me. It is wonderful to explore and learn about current educational topics with individuals from private, public, urban, and rural schools, as well as from educational non-profits. I have been able to gain much deeper insight and have developed a much more global view of how various topics and initiatives affect different educational systems.
–Lori Arnold, Cleveland Middle School, Albuquerque
It matters so much to me to know I have colleagues across the community who share in the vision of leading with love and bravery. To not be alone in these dark times is something of a solace, and Wild Leadership gave me new tools for accomplishing what I would like to as a leader.
–Tanesia Hale-Jones, Escuela del Sol Montessori, Albuquerque
Leaders benefit when they have an opportunity to read, think, and reflect. The Sofia Center’s Wild Leadership Retreat fosters critical thinking and challenges educational leaders to innovate.
–Julie Radoslovich, South Valley Academy, Albuquerque
The Sofia Center’s Wild Leadership Retreat was a marvelous and inspiring experience. The combination of wise leaders sharing their insights and passions with us, and the beauty and peace of the bosque, was magical. Topics ranged from engendering positive cultural change to honoring and including the most marginalized in our communities to brass tacks items such as making meetings meaningful and effective. I emerged feeling re-energized and hopeful about my own potential as a leader and about what might be accomplished at our school.
–Leslie Livingston, Desert Academy, Santa Fe
Recommendations + Information
– For an immersive retreat experience, we recommend staying overnight.
– Participants should plan to attend the entire retreat; it does not work well to arrive late or leave early. Start and end times for the program portions of each day are listed on the invitation.
– Participants receive a Wild Leadership journal and toolkit, along with other materials.
– Registrants will receive additional details prior to the retreat.
– Please contact us with any questions!
New Sofia Center Course Offering
EDUCATOR RENEWAL RETREAT
Please join us for a vibrant, restorative gathering of educators – where the focus will be on individual rejuvenation, collective inquiry and reflection, and reconnection with the larger purposes of our work as educators. There will be no talk of standardized tests, assessment protocols, article deadlines, or papers to grade! Instead, there will be rich discussion with colleagues, walks in the beautiful high desert, inspirational readings, and time for your own renewal and reconnection with your calling. This retreat is open to all teachers, pre-K through university level; from public, charter, or independent schools; and whether working in traditional school settings or educational non-profits.
The first educator renewal retreat was held at the beautiful Ghost Ranch Education and Retreat Center in Abiquiu, New Mexico. Please check back for information about future retreats.
As a public educator and school administrator I have benefited personally from the innovative professional development efforts of Bosque School’s Sofia Center. The Sofia Center offers a place where teachers and school leaders can come together and imagine an educational setting in which the art of teaching is celebrated, whether it is bringing mindfulness into the classroom or engaging young minds with play. I am a better leader and our teachers are better educators – all because of the unique learning opportunities offered by the Sofia Center.
– Julie Radoslovich, Principal/Director at South Valley Academy, Albuquerque