In 2013, Mind and Life launched its educational initiative, entitled Call to Care, which offers educators and students comprehensive training to foster their social, emotional, and ethical development. The program focuses specifically on the cultivation of compassion through training in three integrated modes of care: receiving care, cultivating deep self-care, and extending care. Call to Care focuses first on educators’ professional development and places additional focus on fostering safe, trusting relationships and school communities.
MLI began piloting the Call to Care program in partnership with the Smith College Campus School. Over the last two years, MLI has since partnered with and trained educators from 25 public and private schools in the northeast and midwest, as well as in countries including Norway, Israel, Bhutan, and Vietnam.
This past July, the Call to Care team welcomed a new cohort of nearly 20 schools from across the country for their Summer Intensive. Participants included teachers and administrators from a diverse range of school community contexts, spanning all grade levels, types of schools, and geographic settings.
Educators have had a strong voice in the co-creation of Call to Care all along, and this year’s Summer Intensive was no different. Together we explored foundational aspects of the Call to Care framework and its practical application in our lives. We celebrated our community through pop up choirs, group dialogues, embodied experiences, and participant led sessions. In addition, teams of educators who completed the year-long professional development program returned for a workshop on classroom implementation. This learning community re-connected with each other and the core principles of the framework through raucous conversation, storytelling, imaginative exploration, and mindful walking exercises. The Summer Intensive experience culminated in expressions of gratitude, and participants left feeling energized for the year ahead.
The next phase of the Call to Care professional development portion consists of an online Care Course in which participants will delve deeply into the core principles of the framework. Throughout the next school year, both cohorts will continue to deepen their understanding of the Call to Care framework through the Care Course, online coaching sessions, and dialogues on our edublogs page. Through participant surveys and interviews, we will continue to gather exploratory information to help us gauge the potential impact of Call to Care, so that, in the coming years, we can continue to reach teachers and students across the country.
Click here for more information about Call to Care.