How We Are Transforming Teacher Preparation
FuelEd is a unique training program that equips teachers with the social and emotional competencies necessary to establish high-quality relationships in schools.
Every day, teachers interact with students, community members, and colleagues, often serving as counselors, coaches, or parental figures to their students. In a single morning, a teacher may be forced to resolve a student conflict, reason with an angry mother, motivate an unengaged class, reassure an anxious student about an upcoming test, negotiate demands from administrators and more. These aspects of a teacher’s job are central to successful learning: research has linked teacher-student relationships, teacher collaboration, and teacher-parent interactions to increases in student achievement. Despite the importance of relationships to a teacher’s job and students’ success, current teacher education focuses narrowly on teachers’ content knowledge and instructional skills, excluding a critical dimension of effective teaching: a teacher’s ability to build positive relationships.
FuelEd is a nonprofit organization dedicated to strengthening teacher preparation by equipping teachers with essential social and emotional competencies to establish relationships with students, colleagues, parents, and administrators. We are creating a professional development program based on research from developmental psychology, social neuroscience, and education. FuelEd’s comprehensive program consists of the following elements customized to an individual school’s needs:
Workshops address six critical social and emotional competencies in teachers. These include self awareness, emotional expression, self-care, inner strength, openness to learning and other aweareness. Teachers who lack these competencies may struggle coping with stress, receiving feedback, managing student behavior, engaging parents, and/or dealing with the emotional needs of their students and selves. Providing these teachers with practical tools to cope with stress, build relationships, and increase classroom pro-social behavior will lead to greater teacher satisfaction and quality.
Teachers engage in further exploration of challenging emotions inherent to their profession in small group processing environments. Currently, teachers lack productive outlets for dealing with anxiety, doubt, or frustration etc. Providing opportunities for teachers to examine their own feelings and how these feelings impact their teaching will assist teachers in regulating negative emotions that might otherwise impede student learning and teacher wellbeing.
One-on-one personalized support supports teachers in the process of addressing challenging social and emotional experiences in schools. By focusing on individual teachers’ needs, we foster permanent and positive changes in attitudes, beliefs and behaviors ensuring that teachers’ learning is integrated into long-term practice.
If teachers are equipped with essential social and emotional competencies, then they will remain in the classroom longer and develop stronger relationships with students, parents, fellow teachers, and administrators. In turn, these teachers will drive students’ academic, social, and emotional learning. Please watch the video below to learn more about FuelEd:
I LOVE FuelEd. What an amazing idea. We have many social emotional needs here at our school and I am constantly trying to help adults understand more fully the students’ needs as learners and as little humans who need us to help them navigate the world. I am super impressed with the idea and would love to be involved.”
I just came across FuelEd and was so thrilled! For the longest time, I’ve been discussing this very challenge – a focus on equipping educators with the habits of mind, understanding of self and tactical strategies necessary for building relationships for the benefit of kids (and sustainability of self).
The mission of FuelEd is what has undergirded my professional practice as a teacher, principal, and now retired school superintendent in Philadelphia and Maine. Congratulations! This is indeed the work that needs doing.