What We've Been Up To
When it comes to being an educator, you can’t take the person out of the professional. That’s why FuelEd is launching its Leadership Institute this summer, July 2015, where district, school, and classroom leaders will gather to develop the interpersonal skills, self-awareness, and emotional well-being necessary to refuel them in their roles and power up their relationships with students, colleagues, and families. We call it “fulfuelment.”
The FuelEd Leadership Institute will build educators’ knowledge of the science of relationships, strengthen relationship skills, and develop the self-awareness necessary to build relationships. The FuelEd Leadership experience includes a three-day retreat, one-on-one support, and quarterly cohort meetings. After your FuelEd experience, you will have a tank full of strategies you can put into practice immediately, be powered up to succeed on a whole new level, and revved up to keep going for years to come. See you July 22-24th at the Houston Food Bank for the FuelEd Leadership Institute 2015!
A recent article I read quoted a research study of 307 teachers – every single one of them was insecurely attached. What does this mean, and why does it matter? The term “attachment style” refers to our way of building relationships that results from our early relationships with caregivers. Decades of research have found that these early relationships, incredibly, set the stage for our beliefs about ourselves and others. Are others trustworthy or unsafe, am I worthy or defective? Understanding attachment is incredibly important for educators, seeing as all students enter the classroom with their own attachment patterns, which impacts their perception of the teacher and challenges any and all of the teacher’s great attempts to build relationships. (more…)
From elementary through high school, research demonstrates a relationship between empathic abilities and effective teaching. When teachers are more empathic, the positive outcomes are significant: Improved academic effort, achievement, motivation, self-esteem and empathy in students, increased likelihood of teacher intervening in a bullying situation, improved cultural sensitivity and reduced prejudice and racial bias, more productive and satisfying school relationships, and more likely to hold a positive perception of school culture. When school leaders, as managers are more empathy, their staff is healthier, happier, and perceives them as more effective leaders. Clearly, empathy is a skill that every educator should have in their toolbox, yet unfortunately, educators are not formally taught how to communicate empathically. That is why on March 10th, 2015 FuelEd will be launching Empathy School, or “E-School.” E-School, a 6-hour in-person workshop by FuelEd where educators learn the communication skill of empathy, is designed to fill this gap in educator preparation by training educators in a key relationship skill that will drive student outcomes and positive school culture.
FuelEd would like to welcome its newest member to our advisory board, Dr. Philip Riley. Dr. Riley researches the overlap of psychology, education and leadership, with a particular focus on the lives of school leaders. Dr. Riley’s research applies directly to FuelEd’s work as he has spent his professional life applying adult attachment theory to the relationship between teachers, students and school leaders. Check out his fantastic book, Attachment Theory and the Teacher-Student Relationship to learn more. We highly recommend it!
FuelEd has recently laid its roots in Houston by getting its first office space. Centrally located in Houston, Texas the office serves as a place for our staff to connect with each other, FuelEducators and champions around the city. Just the other week, after two years of providing One-on-One services in teacher’s classrooms across the city, FuelEd had its first One-on-One with an educator in its offices. We are looking forward to expanding our service.
As a part of their professional training, many therapists engage in personal counseling. They do so not only because their jobs are emotionally taxing, but because their success hinges on their ability to be emotionally available and healthy enough to build relationships that drive learning in their clients. Isn’t teaching just the same? This is why FuelEd became the world’s first organization that provides professional counseling for educators. In the words of one of our FuelEducators, “FuelEd gives time in the day and week to think about myself and reflect on my thoughts, feelings, and actions. I am able to be a better leader because I take time to learn about who I am as a person.” (more…)
The seed for FuelEd was planted in San Francisco in 2009 when I attended Learning & the Brain, a conference founded to expose educators neuroscience & psychology. Armed with an undergraduate degree in psychology, the conference was interesting but the information was not new to me. This was not the case for the rest of the attendees. I was shocked and confused as I witnessed educators, veteran and new, hungry for information about brain, mind, and behavior. I had assumed that since educators deal daily in emotions, relationships, and human behavior that psychology and human development would comprise a standard, if not significant, portion of their training and preparation. Why then were they eagerly scribbling notes at this conference? Was this the first they were encountering this information? This was the moment when I realized there was something awry with the way our nation was training teachers. (more…)
As FuelEd celebrated its second birthday in July 2014 and launches into its third year of operations, we are extremely excited to announce our latest partnerships for 2014-2015. These two national organizations are exemplars in the education industry and we are proud to be partnering with both Citizen Schools and Green Dot Public Schools.
One of the perks of the FuelEd program is that all educators have access to the “FuelEd Library” – a library of books, DVDs, and other resources where they can learn more about the science, skills, and self-awareness of relationships. One of the author’s in our library is Dr. Dan Siegel, FuelEd’s advisory board member and a pioneer in the field of interpersonal neurobiology. Dr. Siegel’s book, Mindsight: the New Science of Personal Transformation, is a comprehensive primer for anyone who would like to understand how our experiences shape our brains and minds. He starts out with a concise introduction to the inner workings of the brain and then ties it to “mindsight,” the inner lens through which we perceive our own mind as well of that of others. (more…)
“What evidence do we have that the social atmosphere of school really matters to learning?” The Social Neuroscience of Education written by Dr. Louis Cozolino, one of FuelEd’s Advisory Board Members concisely and comprehensively answers that question and serves as the cornerstone of the FuelEd program. To learn more, check out the synopsis in the Harvard Education Review.