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Oregon Courage Community

Leading Together

Leading Together is a research-based program rooted in the belief that students flourish best in an environment where all educators feel supported, working together in a culture of mutual respect and courageous dialogue.

Research indicates that a key variable in raising student achievement is the degree of relational trust established among the adults in the school. Effective schools are those where both students and educators feel known, valued, and respected. 

Unfortunately, many schools lack these essential social resources, leaving experienced educators feeling deeply discouraged, disrespected and disconnected from their students.

Leading Together is a program designed to address these needs by focusing on building relational trust within the adult community of schools, and working with principals and teacher leaders. The Leading Together curriculum approaches building relational trust through social emotional learning techniques and mindful listening to prepare program participants to collaboratively lead their school communities into greater relational trust for the benefit of all students and adults in the school community.

“Leading Together has all the critical features needed to become a model for school change: effective school leadership, positive adult relationships in schools, and relational trust” 

- Dr. Sara Rimm-Kaufman, Univ. of Virginia, Final Report 

The four main components addressed within the Leading Together program are:
  • Creating Trustworthy Spaces
  • Honest & Open Communication
  • Empowering & Engaging Others
  • Building Deep Seated Accountability

Created by the Center for Courage and Renewal, and drawing on the Circle of Trust® Approach principles and practices first articulated by Parker J. Palmer, in his groundbreaking book, The Courage to Teach, Leading Together does not impose change from without. Leading Together inspires change from within the heart of the school community.

Leading Together helps to build adult community in schools by:
  • Cultivating self-awareness
  • Building connections and community
  • Fostering shared leadership
  • Strengthening capacity to listen, pay attention, and be present in teaching, leading and relationships
  • Holding tension and dealing with conflict constructively
  • Reconnecting with what originally inspired us to be educators 

What Can a Leading Together Program Look Like?

The Leading Together program involves two full days of experiential training and follow up coaching. Training schedule and program structure is customizable to meet the needs of participants. Training can happen on the Lewis & Clark campus, or on-site in schools. The program is adaptable to the needs identified by the school team implementing the program, and upon completion of the initial Leading Together workshop, school leadership teams will be connected with support to advise them on implementing the program in their schools.

Have Questions or are Interested in Learning More?
Contact Matsya Siosal at or 503-768-6222

Oregon Courage Community

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