Summer Programs for Teachers

Workshops and Symposium for Teaching Men

August 14-17 • The Heights School • Potomac, MD

Join us for focused study and thoughtful reflection.

The work of a teacher is both practical and lofty, for teachers assist in the formation of persons at once contemplative and ready to serve in the middle the world. It is precisely the scope of a teacher’s work to prepare students for prudent service, and the end of his labor to assist in their ultimate felicity, which is leisure in fullest sense of the word.

If a teacher is to help his students, he must constantly form himself; he must both work well and leisure well.

The Forum’s summer programs are designed to support teaching men in both of these endeavors.  Join us for four days of study, reflection, and rest in an environment of friendship.

August 14-15

Teachers Workshops

Two days of intensive study designed to help teachers deepen their knowledge and improve their ability to communicate both what they teach and why they teach it.

Join us for a workshop on Mentoring, Science, Latin, or Shakespeare.

August 16-17

Summer Symposium

Two days of reflection on Culture, the Classroom, and Society in an environment of friendship. Raise your sights and contemplate how your work, as a teacher, builds up, improves, and transmits a culture.

Teachers Workshops

Deep Study in an Environment of Friendship

August 14-15 • The Heights School • Potomac, MD


At least three things are necessary for the work of a teacher: knowledge (and love) of his subject, a love (and knowledge) of his students, and the ability to bring the two together—that is, to communicate. In none of these areas is a teacher is never done growing. The fact that a teacher can never exhaust the richness of a particular discipline or book and that he can always better know and love his students makes his profession—which is really a vocation—a great adventure.

Besides knowing his own discipline, moreover, a good teacher must also understand how his particular area of study integrates into the whole of education. Understanding the relationship between the proximate ends of his study and the ultimate ends of education—moving his eyes between the stars above him and the waves around him—will enable him to continually course correct as needed. As with knowledge of one’s discipline, making prudent decisions about how to teach one’s discipline is an ongoing work.

The purpose of the workshops is to support this effort by offering an opportunity for deep study in an environment of friendship. The workshops will help teachers deepen their understanding of a particular discipline or aspect of teaching, while helping them see how their particular work fits into the whole of a liberal arts education. The result of such a deepening will be a greater appreciation for and love of the discipline itself, as well as a better understanding of why such discipline is worth studying and, therefore, worth teaching. The workshops will also enable participants to communicate clearly and persuasively what they have discovered together both to students in the classroom and to parents in the parking lot.

By offering an opportunity to study together, the workshops propose to be a sort of microcosm of and a continued preparation for the work of a teacher, which consists essentially in sharing what we study so as to live fully ourselves and to help our students do the same.

Mentoring Workshop

Join Heights Director of Mentoring, Joe Cardenas, for a two-day seminar on the nuts and bolts of mentoring.  This workshop is targeted to the new or aspiring mentor.  Of course, administrators interested in training their faculty would find the content most beneficial.  Topics for discussion include.

  • Building Rapport with New Mentees;
  • Difficult Conversations and Unique Challenges;
  • Parent Communications;
  • Mentor as Liaison to Other Faculty;
  • The Mentality and Challenges of the 21st Century Youth;
  • Mentoring in Freedom: Building Personal Agency

Participants will be asked to read one book, He Knows not How, along with a short packet of readings in advance of the first session. The seminar will be capped at 20 participants. 

Initiative for the Renewal of Science Education Workshop

Current approaches to science education are often unscientific. That is, they tend to produce skilled technicians rather than true scientists. Beginning with theory as a given, contemporary science education often promotes a habit of intellectual surrender, thus forming students that lack the perspective and vision characteristic of someone with a truly scientific mindset. Launched in August of 2022, the Initiative for the Renewal of Science Education (IRSE) is a collaborative effort to improve science education. To this end, IRSE examines both the content of science education and how that content is taught in the classroom.

The purpose of this workshop is to advance the work of IRSE by bringing together teaching men interested in both the theory and praxis of science education. At the workshop, attendees will consider the way science intersects with philosophy and history, as well as how one’s approach to teaching science is as important as the content itself. The workshops will include both talks and seminars, as well as working sessions for developing syllabi and lesson plans.

Latin Workshop

Beginning with the end in mind, the goal of this workshop is to help teachers and curriculum developers clarify and communicate the goals for their school’s Latin curriculum. To do this, the workshop will focus on three main areas: motivation, pedagogy, and assessment. First, motivation: Why Latin? To teach history? To improve students’ SAT scores? To teach grammar? Second, pedagogy: Wheelock or Ørberg? Grammar-Translation or spoken immersion? What if a teacher doesn’t speak Latin? Finally, assessment: How do we track progress? What about the AP Latin Exam or the National Latin Exam? Through a consideration these and similar questions, teachers will leave the workshop with more approaches in their teaching quiver, regardless of what textbook (if a textbook is used, that is) in they use in their own classroom—not to mention new professional friends who will be both pleasant companions and useful colleagues.

Shakespeare Workshop

Join Hillsdale College’s Dr. Matthew Mehan for a two day intensive seminar on Shakespeare and the Education of Leaders. Those of us who see the arts of liberty as worth preserving, employ the works of William Shakespeare without question. Yet, as we seek to transmit the great works of our tradition to the next generation, it is entirely possible to do the right things for the wrong reasons, or for no reason at all.

Do we—both as teachers and as members of this tradition—understand why the bard has ever been the boon of teachers seeking to form leaders? If we don’t, we risk inoculating or immunizing our students against the priceless treasures found in these works. On the other hand, if we do, and if we continually deepen our own appreciation for the layers upon layers of meaning conveyed by Shakespeare’s immortal words, then we offer our students a solid rock upon which to stand as they, themselves, undertake the great work of prudential leadership.

Participants will be expected to read two to three of Shakespeare’s works prior to the workshop, along with excerpts from other major historical works. The seminar will be capped at 20 participants. Topics of reading and discussion include:

  • Hamlet and Beowulf
  • Julius Caesar and Cicero’s De Amicitia
  • Shakespeare’s Sir Thomas More

Summer Symposium

On Culture, the Classroom, and Society

August 16-17 • The Heights School • Potomac, MD


A good education prepares students to live fully, to become fully human. As a rational animal, man needs at least two things: agriculture and culture—the one enabling his bodily growth, the other his spiritual growth. While it is the proper place of a farmer to attend to the agricultural needs of man—which keeps man alive—we might say that it is the work of a school to look after his cultural needs—which frees him to live fully. And in both places, the Genesis imperative is the same: crescite!

Culture, like food, is not all the same and requires our intentional care if it is to grow healthily and be handed on well. Part and parcel of the vocation of the teacher is to know, improve, and transmit culture. Besides knowing his particular discipline, then, a teacher ought to have a continually growing knowledge of the wider culture, and he ought to spend time thinking about how his work fits into the development and improvement of that culture. Such work is best done in friendship, which is at the heart of any flourishing culture.

The purpose of the Summer Symposium is to support educators by offering them the opportunity to contemplate how their work fits into the broader culture of the country in which they work. The symposium will consider what culture is, why it matters, how we shape it, and how we, as teachers, communicate it. It will also consider how our work as educators supports the formation of strong family cultures, which are the seeds of flourishing societies.

What to Expect

  • Deepen your understanding of culture–what it is, how it shapes us, how we shape it, what education has to do with it–by listening to speakers with expertise in various fields.
  • Broaden your cultural horizons through excursions in and around Washington D.C.
  • Learn from fellow educators doing what they do best: teach what they know and love.
  • Grow in friendship and expand your professional network by enjoying true leisure with teachers from around the country and beyond.

“Man is not merely an animal of nature, like a skylark or a bear. He is also an animal of culture, whose race can subsist only within the development of society and civilization, he is a historical animal: hence the multiplicity of cultural or ethico-historical patterns into which man is diversified; hence the essential importance of education.”

– Education at the Crossroads, Jacques Maritain

Double Event

Workshop and Symposium

Single Event

Workshop or Symposium

Stay Updated

The Workshops will take place August 14 and 15, followed by the Symposium, August 16 and 17. Registration will open in February.