October 18, 2017, Issue #21

Oct 23, Dec 5, Jan 24, Mar 12, Apr 23
Oct 24, Nov 28, Jan 23, Mar 13
Oct 24, Feb 6, Apr 17

Nov 1
Oct 20-22
Jan 23
Jan 30

1) If your school isn't already a member, encourage them to join  here

2) Register for our upcoming eventsand keep an eye out for our spring schedule of workshops.

3) Get in touch and let us know what kind of professional learning opportunities you're looking for.

4) Have expertise to share? Contact us about writing a blog post or leading a workshop.

5) Join our mailing list to stay up to date on all our future workshops and events.

A message from the  Executive Director, 


In A Paradise Built in Hell Rebecca Solnit explores the "extraordinary communities that arise" during five different disasters that take place over the course of a century, starting with the earthquake and fires in San Francisco in 1906 and ending with Hurricane Katrina . If Solnit were to write book two, she would need to look no farther than the last three months for myriad examples of altruism surging forth in the wake of both man-made and natural disasters; she could certainly devote a chapter to the devastating fires in our own backyard. 
As I write this, the Northern California fires are mostly contained and the air in San Francisco is finally clearing; attention is turning towards recovery, and the way people are coming together is truly phenomenal.
Our offerings in this month's "Buzz" focus on ways we can find balance and perspective as educators and better support our students during what is not only a challenging time in our community and the world at large, but a particularly stressful period in the lives of schools.
At CATDC, we have been deeply moved by the stories from our member schools to the north of us; stories of great loss and great courage; deep sadness and exceptional generosity. School leaders have been working nonstop, mobilizing to support families that have been impacted as well as the larger community. Schools in Sonoma County bore the brunt of the tragedy. In the midst of the crisis, reeling from the impact of learning that 19 families, three staff, and many alums had lost their homes, Sonoma Academy opened their campus to serve as a staging area for firefighters, providing facilities for rest and relaxation, showering, eating, and much needed sleep. Thirty families from Sonoma Country Day lost their homes, yet almost immediately the school banded together to start fundraising for their community partners and Anova , a small nonprofit school for autistic children that was completely destroyed.
For readers seeking ways to help, donations can be made online to the newly established North Bay Fire Relief Fund . Click on this link for other suggestions posted by the Marin Independent Journal.
Before the fires began, I was planning to write about how inspiring it was to hear of the student-led initiatives across independent schools to raise money for those impacted by other recent tragedies: the mass shooting in Las Vegas, victims of flooding in South East Asia, Hurricanes Harvey, Irma, and Maria; the earthquakes in Mexico; the Rohingya refugee crisis.  And now this horrendous terrorist attack in Somalia. More devastation. More "extraordinary communities" being created.  More extraordinary needs.
Many of us may be feeling a kind of 'empathetic distress' as Joan Halifax describes it in a recent "On Being" podcast. We have included her interview with Krista Tippet as it offers important wisdom for our times as well as antidotes for the "vital exhaustion" and "moral distress" we may be experiencing. Two articles from Edutopia,  Building Resilience, Preventing Burnout   and When Students Are Traumatized, Teachers Are Too provide specific suggestions on teacher wellness; and an article from KQED's Mind/Shift recommends approaches for supporting students. Finally, our own Lori Cohen looks to the phrase "Always October" coined by the San Francisco Giants during a playoff season to offer a pleasing reminder that every play, every day matters, and that " our schools should function as one team in service of our most important players: the students."
Learning does go on. As does the work of the CATDC. Most of our ongoing groups are underway, and I so appreciate the time people are carving out of their busy lives to pause and reflect, develop their capacities as educators and leaders, and learn with and from each other. There is still some room in Support for Supporters , Department Chairs , and Developing Your Leadership Capacity . Please see our website for upcoming workshops and intensives, some newly added, centered on our theme for the year, especially resonant just now: Building Community Within, Between and Beyond our Schools.
It's Always October
By Lori Cohen, The Bay School of San Francisco
Several years ago, when the San Francisco Giants were on their even-year World Series run (2010, 2012, 2014), there was a buzz in San Francisco that heightened our energy levels. It was a fun time to live and work here. And the notion of a heightened energy level seems appropriate for the month of October: the weather is changing; the leaves are turning beautiful colors (in some of the state); school routines are becoming entrenched for the rest of the year; we're in a rhythm that feels familiar, and there are still so many possibilities for what's ahead.
How Teachers and Schools Can Help When Bad Stuff Happens
By Anya Kamenetz, MindShift  | KQED
Fred Rogers, the beloved children's television host, used to tell a story about when he would see scary things in the news as a child. His mother would reassure him by saying: "Look for the helpers. You will always find people who are helping."  Lately, there's been a surfeit of scary news: Charlottesville, Texas, Florida, Puerto Rico, and now Las Vegas.

And unfortunately, the stress of children's daily lives doesn't go away with all that's happening in the world around us. 

When Students Are Traumatized, Teachers Are Too
By Emelina Minero, Edutopia
Alysia Ferguson Garcia remembers the day two years ago that ended in her making a call to Child Protective Services. One of her students walked into drama class with what Garcia thought of as a "bad attitude" and refused to participate in a script reading.
"I don't care if you've had a bad day," Garcia remembers saying in frustration. "You still have to do some work."
In the middle of class, the student offered an explanation for her behavior: Her mom's boyfriend had been sexually abusing her. After the shock passed, the incident provided an opportunity for the class-and Garcia-to provide the student with comfort, and to cry.
Building Resilience, Preventing Burnout
By Elena Aguilar, Edutopia
If you're a new teacher, maybe you'll feel affirmed to know that researchers have found that the hardest stretch of the school year, especially for novice teachers, is  late October to Thanksgiving break. By that time of the year, the rush and excitement of the start has faded, you're tired, and you're not yet seeing the impact of all the hard work you're putting in-you aren't yet seeing leaps in student learning.
Buoyancy Rather Than Burnout in Our Lives
By Joan Halifax, On Being Podcast
It's easy to despair at all the bad news and horrific pictures that come at us daily. But Roshi Joan Halifax says this is a form of empathy that works against us. There's such a thing as pathological altruism. This zen abbot and medical anthropologist has nourishing wisdom as we face suffering in the world.