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Good Medicine: The Care of the Joyful Teacher
March 21
- March 23, 2024
Wake Forest,
Thales College

“A joyful heart is good medicine,
but a crushed spirit dries up the bones” (Pr. 17:22)

Come join us at Thales Colleges in Wake Forest, NC to contemplate how to care for parents and teachers so teachers and parents can care for their students.

It’s good medicine, and we all need it!

Classical educators have long debated whether virtue can be taught. Plato’s Socrates engages the question directly, St. Paul perhaps indirectly. Some people conclude, “Yes, virtue can be taught, so teach it”, others, “No, but you must teach it anyway.”

After all, you cannot make a student learn, but you can offer him the lesson.

The teacher, to make the student willing to suffer the cure, must be joyful and hospitable. That will help make the medicine go down.

What does this mean in the classroom?

What is hospitality and what is its role in the classroom? How does it invite the patient to take his medicine? What is the medicine? What is the relationship between good medicine and a joyful heart? What is a crushed spirit in the classroom? What crushes the spirit?

At the CiRCE Institute’s 2024 Spring Conference in Wake Forest, NC, hosted by Thales College, speakers will explore this idea.

  • Space – how can the classroom or home be hospitable and inviting?
  • Teaching – how can the teacher present lessons that are hospitable and inviting?
  • Lessons – how can we ensure our lessons are hospitable and medicinal?
  • Assessment – how can the teacher assess in a way that blesses rather than distracting or even crushing the student’s spirit?
  • Teacher – how can we ensure that our teachers are both joyful and hospitable?
  • Student – how can we ensure that our students maintain a joyful heart?
  • And more…

Join us in beautiful and historic Wake Forest, NC as we contemplate good medicine and how to have a joyful and hospitable experience as both teacher and student.

*Registration includes free audio recordings of all the conference sessions.

A catered, sit-down lunch will be provided alongside coffee, tea, and water throughout the event.*


*Special thanks to Beow’s Books and Brews for providing FREE coffee and pastries throughout the conference.*

Confirmed Speakers

Josh Herring

John Heers

Thomas Fickley

Kristen Rudd

Katerina Hamilton

Director of Press

Joshua Gibbs

Michael Buck Holler

Director of Consulting

Jonathan Councell

Sean Johnson

Alec Bianco

Director of Curriculum

Monique Neal

Dr. Matthew Bianco


Andrew Kern

President & CEO

Thales College

Thales College is a return to what higher education was meant to be, and a fresh new take on college for the 21st century. The best of the past and the present is combined to prepare our students for their future.

EST time
March 21

5:30-6:00pm - Registration and Check-in

6:00-7:00pm - Opening Plenary by Andrew Kern

7:00-9:00pm - Welcome Reception (Wine and Hors d'oeuvres will be served)

March 22

9am - 10:30am - Plenary II - Music is Medicine by Dr. Matthew Bianco

11am - 12pm - Breakout Session I

  • Making a Desk Into a Table, So Man Can Become Like God by John Heers
  • The Play's the Thing: The Role of Play in the Joyful Lesson by Monique Neal
  • Gentle Medicines: How Christ the Logos first heals, then trains, and finally teaches by Jonathan Councell

12pm - 1:30pm - Lunch

1:30pm - 2:30pm - Breakout Session II

  • Mending the Mind: Rescuing and Repairing the Imagination by Kristen Rudd
  • Joyful Teaching: A Christian Necessity by Josh Herring
  • Eggs In An Empty Kitchen: Devoting a Year to a Single Book by Sean Johnson

2:45pm - 3:45pm - Plenary III - Beauty First: Healing the discord between learning and instruction by Buck Holler

4pm - 4:30pm - Q&A Panel

March 23

9am - 10:30am - Plenary IV - TBD

11am - 12pm - Breakout Session III

  • TBD
  • Hospitality in the Classroom by Dr. Matthew Bianco
  • The Artist as Teacher: A Meditation on Mary as Sub-Creator by Katerina Hamilton

12pm - 1:30pm - Lunch

1:30pm - 2:30pm - Breakout Session IV

  • Getting Past the Guardians: The Divine Comedy on Being a Good Teacher by Kristen Rudd
  • Rhetoric and Relationship by Timothy Knotts
  • TBD

2:45pm - 3:45pm - Plenary V - Why Classical Charter Schools are Good for Classical Christian Education by Joshua Gibbs

4pm - 4:30pm - Q&A Panel with Andrew Kern, Joshua Gibbs, Buck Holler, John Heers, and Katerina Hamilton