Jostens Renaissance is proud to provide relevant and engaging content to help educators and students engage in meaningful dialogue around sometimes difficult to discuss topics. For the past six years, Jostens has created a library of over 160 episodes of The Harbor – a video-based character education and social emotional learning series designed for the classroom. And, we are excited to continue adding to The Harbor library.

But, we didn’t want to stop there!

Through our newly released Courageous Conversations video series, we are sharing real stories by real people who have shown real strength. It is time to normalize the conversation around wellbeing, self care, and mental health. We are providing Courageous Conversations for audiences of parents, educators, and young people. Each episode comes with a reflection guide and discussion starter perfect for the classroom, teacher’s lounge, or even the dinner table!

It’s Time to Have Courageous Conversations

We have Courageous Conversations episodes for parent, educator, and youth audiences. Within each section below, click on the image or the title to view the Courageous Conversation video. You can access the accompanying reflection and discussion guide for each episode by clicking the button to the right of each video.

For Educators:

Building Your Brand

Whether we like to admit it or not – your brand as an educator is important and it affects how your students, their parents, your colleagues and the community perceive you as a person and as a professional. In this episode of Courageous Conversations, Steve Bollar (aka Stand Tall Steve) shares simple insights on how to build the brand you desire for yourself.

Engaging Students

Keeping students engaged in learning is one of the most challenging parts of education, but throw in a pandemic and we have a student engagement crisis on our hands.  In this episode of Courageous Conversations, Jonathan Alsheimer shares several ideas for how to transform your existing instructional resources and practices into ones students won’t be able to resist engaging with.

Laughable Moments 

Anyone who has taught for any length of time has at least one embarrassing moment that you can now look back on and laugh about. In this episode of Courageous Conversations, several educators share their memorable moment and the lesson they walked away learning because of it.

Mental Health

Mark Brown’s mental health journey began in his teenage years and has been an ever-present part of his life since. In this episode of Courageous Conversations, Mark shares his battle with anorexia, his struggles with self-worth and self-talk, and his recollection of the moment he realized he no longer had to suffer alone. Watch this episode for insights and tips for making mental health an intentional priority every day.

Physical Fitness and Wellbeing

When Dwight Carter found himself struggling with depression, he had a support system of loved ones and colleagues who were there for him.  But he found that a pivotal key to his mental health was through focusing on his physical health.  In this episode of Courageous Conversations, Dwight shares his wellbeing journey and shows us the connection between physical and mental wellness.

Relationships

Dr. Farah Ortega-Choate shares the impact prioritizing relationships has had on her as educator and as a person.  When a personal crisis entered her own life, the relationships she had established with her students provided comfort and support when she needed it the most. In this episode of Courageous Conversations, Dr. Ortega-Choate shares examples of why relationships matter most.

Seeking Growth

We all want our students and our own children to dedicate themselves to lifelong learning.  We want them to continue to seek knowledge, understanding, and new ideas. But, do we hold ourselves as educators to that same hunger for growth? In this episode of Courageous Conversations, several educators share their favorite books, podcasts, and PLNs – ones that have helped them grow both professionally and personally.

For Parents:

The Achievement Gap

Dr. Keith Bell differentiates between achievement and growth and talks candidly about a term we all hear – ‘the achievement gap’.  In this episode of Courageous Conversations, Dr. Bell shares how parents can advocate for our children’s growth.

Honoring the Memories of Your Child’s Journey

Rick Morton and Virginia Wilson dedicate their lives to preserving memories for students.  In this episode of Courageous Conversations, two Jostens reps share real stories of the importance of documenting and honoring your child’s experiences.

Parental Involvement in Education

Julie Diaz has been an administrator at every level of public education.  In this episode of Courageous Conversations, Julie shares how parental involvement diminishes in middle and high school grades and provides easy ways parents can respect their child’s growing independence and autonomy without backing out of their educational experience.

Parenting in a Digital World

Maree Hampton and Katherine Myers  are co-founders of Live More Screen Less – a digital wellbeing resource for parents, educators, and students.  In this episode of Courageous Conversations, Maree and Katherine encourage parents to take the first step at protecting your child’s wellbeing – focus on their sleep. Watch this episode for tips on setting boundaries related to technology and sleep.

Self Care

Sara Nilles shares the moment of her epiphany – she could no longer ignore her own self care. As the caregiver of others, this required a mind shift and intentionality on her part. In this episode of Courageous Conversations, Sara shares simple, yet impactful, tips for making our wellbeing a priority.

What I Wish My Parents Knew

Every generation tends to look at life through their own lens, based upon their view of the world and their own life experiences. In this episode of Courageous Conversations, we are joined by several young people who open up about what they wished their parents knew. Their insights will be sure to leave you wondering what your own children wish you knew.

For Students:

Dealing with Failure

We all have a fear of failing, but we each face that fear and react to failure in our own ways.  In this episode of Courageous Conversations, several young people share their insights on how to deal with failing and how they view the difference between failing and being a failure.

Gratitude and Empathy

Have you ever paid attention to how showing gratitude increases your connection to others which then increases your level of empathy for others? Whether we consciously realize it or not, there is a link between gratitude and empathy. In this episode of Courageous Conversations, see how expressing gratitude has created empathy in the hearts and minds of a few Gen Z youth.

Grit

Grit is one of those qualities that we all can admit there is a need for, but not everyone exhibits grit. In this episode of Courageous Conversations, several young people share their relationship with grit and how that dictates how they proceed through their life’s experiences.

Mental Wellness

It is time to normalize conversations about mental wellness. In this episode of Courageous Conversations, a few brave young people offer a peak inside their own mental wellness struggles and coping strategies.

Preparing for Life’s Transitions

Change is hard. Especially when you are younger and don’t have as many varied life experiences from which to draw wisdom. In this episode of Courageous Conversations, a handful of young adults discuss their emotions and mindset as they face some big life transitions on the horizon.

Success

We each have our own view of success and that collective ideal of success changes from one generation to the next. In this episode of Courageous Conversations, young adults give us insight into what a successful life experience looks like through their eyes.

What I Want To Be

So much pressure is placed on young people to know exactly what they want to do as a profession. In our society, value is placed on productivity and work. In this episode of Courageous Conversations, young adults respond by reminding us all that the more important focus is not on what we become, but who we become.

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