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You've probably heard the adage about putting on your own oxygen mask before putting one on someone else. But we can cultivate our own resilience while simultaneously boosting that of others. During the current global health crisis, educators are being called on to serve in new ways. We have an opportunity now to provide service in a way that honors and centers our own needs, while also being culturally responsive and supremely aware of what other people need. This new and timely course weaves together strategies and insights from Elena's book, Onward, with strategies and content from her forthcoming book, Coaching for Equity. Participants will be grounded in the key practices that build resilience and will explore the connections between those strategies and efforts to create equitable organizations and communities. This course offers inspiration, concrete practices, and a unique way to anchor in a commitment to social justice. 


  • Consider different perspectives on crisis and understand the cultural conditioning of perception. 
  • Explore personality tendencies towards optimism or pessimism and understand how to validate other people’s emotional expressions.
  • Cultivate awareness of our underlying beliefs and values and the role they play during listening and explore how to practice cultural competence when listening to others.
  • Explore how to offer emotional support to families/caregivers and students while holding awareness the social and cultural construction of emotions. 
  • Reflect on the role of race in our interpretation of emotional expression.
  • Learn ways to care for yourself while also caring for others--and consider how we understand caring through a racial equity lens. 
  • Understand the dangerous of being a martyr or a savior through a racial identity lens.

Who Should Attend



This course is designed to take place over six weeks but participants can engage at whatever cadence best meets their needs. 

What's Included

Lectures, readings, exercises


  • Individual: $275
  • Group discounts may apply.

To pay by invoice, use a purchase order, or register multiple people, please complete our Group Order/Pay By Invoice form. 

Course Curriculum

  • 1


    • Welcome

    • Content Use Policy Reminder

  • 2

    Session 1: Building Individual and Community Resilience in Times of Crisis

    • Overview and Grounding

    • What is Resilience?

    • Reflecting on Identity

    • Listening With An Open Heart

    • Demonstration

    • Pulling Back the Curtain

    • Optimism

    • Conclusion

  • 3

    Session 2: Listening Through an Equity Stance

    • Overview and Grounding

    • Identifying Core Values

    • Expansive Listening

    • Demonstration

    • Pulling Back the Curtain

    • Listening Through an Equity Stance

    • Conclusion

  • 4

    Session 3: The Cultural Construction of Emotions

    • Overview and Grounding

    • The Cycle of an Emotion

    • Navigating Strong Emotions

    • The Cultural Construction of Emotions

    • How to Hold Space for Others

    • Conclusion

  • 5

    Session 4: Examining Privilege in Times of Crisis

    • Overview and Grounding

    • The Stories We Tell

    • Our Identity Markers and the Stories We Tell

    • Making Connections

    • Curiosity

    • Conclusion

  • 6

    Session 5: Taking Care of Yourself While Taking Care of Others

    • Overview and Grounding

    • Exploring Attitudes Towards Self Care

    • Claiming a Right to Self-Care

    • Reframing Self Care and Saying No

    • Conclusion

  • 7

    Session 6: Shining a Light on Bright Spots: Leading During Crisis

    • Overview and Grounding

    • Bright Spots, Perspectives and Courage

    • The Spheres of Influence

    • Courage

    • Conclusion

  • 8

    Feedback Survey

    • Please take a moment to share feedback about your learning experience - we greatly appreciate it!

    • Connect with Bright Morning

About the instructor

Founder & CEO, Bright Morning Consulting

Elena Aguilar

Elena has trained thousands of educators across the United States and abroad in transformational coaching. She is the author of six highly acclaimed books: The Art of Coaching, (2013) and The Art of Coaching Teams, (2016) Onward: Cultivating Emotional Resilience in Educators (2018) and the Onward Workbook (2018), Coaching for Equity (2020), and the Art of Coaching Workbook (2020). Elena also is co-author of The PD Book: 7 Habits That Transform Professional Development (2022), where she and Lori Cohen share the most essential strategies for designing and leading equitable professional development. Elena’s expertise derives from twenty five years as a classroom teacher, instructional coach and leadership coach working in diverse school environments. In her role as a consultant, she has partnered with leaders in public and private organizations across the United States and abroad. Elena is also the co-founder of Kenya Big Picture Learning, and she’s on the advisory board of UC Berkeley’s Greater Good Science Center. Elena lives in Oakland, California, with her husband, son, and two cats. When she’s not coaching or writing she enjoys traveling abroad, photographing birds, hiking, drinking coffee and reading fiction.