“Some people talk in their sleep. Lecturers talk while other people sleep.”
– Albert Camus, French Philosopher
Dr. Thurber has been inspiring active learning since 1985, when he began teaching swimming in South Portland, Maine. Today, Dr. Thurber engages youth leaders and professional educators around the world in the exciting process of their own professional development. “Learning lasts when we create and collaborate,” he says. “That’s why I invite discussion, laughter, writing, and role plays in my work with independent schools.”
Dr. Thurber is a favorite presenter at conferences such as TABS (The Association of Boarding Schools) and NAIS (The Association of Independent Schools). Each year, his workshops on Preserving Professional Teacher-Student Boundaries, Cracking Kids’ Secret Code, Managing Stress Before it Manages You, Collaborative Problem Solving, Appreciative Inquiry and Working with Difficult Parents are in high demand worldwide. Contact Dr. Thurber.
- Learn more about Dr. Thurber’s faculty development workshops
- See Dr. Thurber’s schedule of upcoming learning events
- Read more testimonials from heads of school
In addition to aquatics, Dr. Thurber has coached numerous teams, taught elementary school French, and co-instructed undergraduate courses in linguistics and adolescent development. He now teaches the Introduction to Psychology course for seniors at Phillips Exeter Academy.
"Dear Chris, Thank you for co-leading your fourth amazing EPIC pre-conference at ACA Nationals! The workshops were fantastic. Your insight and encouragement will help grow a talented group of emerging professionals in camping (EPIC). We are so lucky to have you in our industry! Thank you, thank you, thank you!" -Jalisa Danhoff, Conference Chair, EPICJalisa Danhoff, Conference Chair, EPIC
"Dear Chris, I just wanted to let you know how much I appreciated your support. Every summer brings challenges, and I feel so fortunate to know I have people like you in the wings to lean on for guidance. You truly helped me do the right thing while preserving a positive relationship with a family in distress. Thank you, thank you, thank you!" -Catriona Sangster, Co-Director, Camp WawenockCatriona Sangster, Co-Director, Camp Wawenock
"Thank you so very much for your consultation about managing parental expectations. We followed your advice and the camper in question completed the season on a positive note! Chris, as always, I am grateful for your help, time, thoughts, and affirmation that we're headed down the right track. Thank you for all your help this season, in so many ways. I deeply appreciate and all you do for so many camps. Because of your support, we can better serve our youth." -Carrie Kashawlic, Director, Fleur de Lis CampCarrie Kashawlic, Director, Fleur de Lis Camp
"Chris, thanks for your excellent workshop today. Based on everyone's conversations later in the afternoon, it was extremely well received. It certainly gives us a strong leadership foundation for our work this summer." -Andrew Walpole, Assistant Head, Wolfeboro Boarding SchoolAndrew Walpole, Assistant Head, Wolfeboro Boarding School
"Chris, thanks a million for being part of ACA-New England! Your sessions are always so though-provoking and insightful. Your time, energy, and commitment to our industry are greatly appreciated." - Alex Jackson, Director, Camp RunoiaAlex Jackson, Director, Camp Runoia
"Thank you for the critical training pieces you provided at our annual conference. So many people have mentioned your presentations and how much they enjoyed them! Our senior management team is looking forward to discussing lots of your inspiring ideas with our front-line staff. Your contributions were exactly what we needed at this time. Thank you for being with us and for providing such great energy and inspiration!" - Ellen McCarron, Chief of Park Operations, Vermont State ParksEllen McCarron, Chief of Park Operations, Vermont State Parks
"Staff training week is light years better because of your insights on how staff create the camp's culture. Several of our veteran staff have told me they feel more empowered because of the mindset shift you explained. I've also been a huge fan of your articles on staff mental health. Taking care of themselves--as well as the campers--has become a priority for our team. Seeking peer social support was never easy, but you helped us break that wall down. Thank you so much!" - Liz Logan, Assistant Director, Camp DaKaNiLiz Logan, Assistant Director, Camp DaKaNi
"Thank you so much for your role in making Directors' Camp such a powerful experience for me. The weekend reaffirmed me in ways I didn't even realize I needed. I am smart, educated, playful, and silly. Your example of these character traits in action was a reminder to bring that all to the table." Teri Valente, Director, Camp ArrowheadTeri Valente, Director, Camp Arrowhead
"Dear Dr. Thurber, I cannot thank you enough for your awesome presentation on Teaching Students to Fail last week at Purnell for the Association of Independent Schools of New Jersey! We learned a ton and it has already helped me as a teacher and a parent!" - Dr. Nicole Lynn Martone, Head of Upper School, Ranney SchoolDr. Nicole Lynn Martone, Head of Upper School, Ranney School
Chris, I so appreciated your seminar on "Cracking Kids' Secret Code"! Thank you! I especially loved the training technique you shared about having staff notice behaviors in a movie clip and then sharing what they notice, then watching it again with a heightened sense of awareness. The more perceptive staff become, the more connected they are to the kids. And the more connected the kids feel, the better time they have...and the better they behave!" - Karen Offitzer, Assistant Director, Camp SchodackKaren Offitzer, Assistant Director, Camp Schodack
Click a category below to learn more about the workshops I provide to schools.