Masked teacher teaching elementary school children.
Rekindling Quaker Principles and Practices


Rekindling Quaker Principles and Practices in Friends Schools

Affirming the Quaker Identity workshop. Recentering Quaker Principles and Practices workshop. Administrative retreats on Quaker Decision Making. New Faculty Orientation and... our tried-and-true program, Educators New to Quakerism.

These are the many programs that Friends Council offers to support Friends schools in reconnecting their faculty and staff with Quaker principles and practices in their schools. 

Affirming Quaker Identity Workshop

Nurturing and enhancing the Quaker nature of a school is an ongoing process. To support Friends School Atlanta (GA) in that work, Friends Council delivered a new Affirming Quaker Identity workshop for veteran faculty and staff in August. Through both spirit-full reflection and joyful play, the group collaboratively explored the school's Quaker identity using the self-study documents of the Membership Renewal Process (MRP). The group members went on a scavenger hunt and gathered artifacts to showcase what makes FSA a Quaker school. This laid the foundation for future conversations about what could be added and what could be deepened. Of particular interest was the new section of the MRP focused on Equity and Justice. Faculty and staff members expressed gratitude for these new queries that they hope will prompt rich and challenging dialogue throughout the school year. Led by Friends Council Board member Shu Shu Costa, this workshop provides a means for faculty and staff to go deeper in exploring and growing the Quaker nature of their school.

Quaker Decision Making in Friends Schools

When Friends Schools want to enhance and grow their understanding of Quaker principles and practices, they call on Friends Council. This summer Sidwell Friends School (DC) did just that. Executive director Drew Smith spoke with Sidwell administrators during their retreat about how the Quaker decision-making process plays out in schools. 

Recentering Quaker Principles and Practices Workshop

Friends school educators actively explore and practice ways to deepen their Quaker nature through Friends Council’s Recentering Quaker Principles and Practices workshop. Friends Council works with faculty and staff on weaving Quaker principles and practices into the curriculum, and guides them in looking at the way these practices add to the academic excellence and culture of the school. This work helps orient children for growth and civil engagement. Friends pedagogical practices encourage thinking about the how of the lesson as well as the what, adding to the rigor of the educational program.

Sessions include a focus on meeting for worship by exploring the educational value of reflective silence. The workshop also assists Friends school faculty and staff to explore Quaker testimonies more deeply. An “each one teach one” style activity generates ideas for including testimonies explicitly in their classroom and offices. For example, teams explore the paradoxes they notice about creating a more just and peaceful world as in “What does the Quaker practice of peace look like in my classroom today?” 

Participants also discussed how to help adults in the school community to find more meaning in reflective Quaker practice.

Associate director Deborra Sines Pancoe facilitated our Recentering workshop at several Friends schools in August, including United Friends School (PA), Greene Street Friends School (PA) and Abington Friends School (PA). 

Educators New to Quakerism (ENTQ)

How does a new teacher, administrator or staff member who is not Quaker or has never worked in a Friends school learn about Friends education? That’s where Friends Council’s Educators New to Quakerism Workshop comes in. Through readings and participation in group conversations and exercises, people learn about Quaker history, the network of Friends schools, Quaker testimonies, Meeting for Worship, the Clearness Process, Quaker decision making, and more.

“The Educators New to Quakerism Workshop made an enormous and positive impact on me and helped me to integrate more quickly and easily than I could possibly have done so without this valuable understanding of the interaction between Quakerism and the independent school environment."
Janis Zink, Director of Advancement, Carolina Friends School (NC).


So far this year, Friends Council has delivered ENTQ at George School (PA), Friends School of Atlanta (GA), Lancaster Friends School (PA), Frankford Friends School (PA), Friends School Haverford (PA) and Gwynedd Friends Nursery & Preschool (PA). ENTQ workshops are available upon request. 


You May Also Like