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The three 2017 Summer Institutes and two SELected Sessions are underway. Each Summer Institute brings together K-12 teachers, administrators and counselors from around the world for four days of workshops, collaboration and reflection that range across a broad library of SEL topics and research.
Our SELected Sessions supplement the Summer Institute work with an optional, one-day set of opportunities to deepen your SEL skills.

Guest author Jessica Berlinski writes a thoughtful piece on the power of SEL and Open Session.

"There has been a transformational change in our Lower School in just this past year as we implemented the SEL program... and I am eager to continue its growth! Particularly as we look to engage our Middle School faculty as well.... simultaneously striving to train every single Lower School faculty member.  Please let me know if this would be a possibility... and what the next steps would entail."

"Our Middle division program has grown exponentially over the time we've collaborated. To witness the activity at the faculty meeting where our faculty responded to your statements along the continuum, strongly indicated, in the most graphic ways, the degree to which they have positively responded to our work together. Clearly the majority of our faculty feel overwhelmingly more confident and positive in their advisory role and in the classroom."

"We had a great experience with the IFSEL Team during our day of professional development for our middle and high school teachers! In fact, today I tried the Open Session in a career course that I'm teaching at the moment and it was tremendous!"

We have created a series of three workshops to help you and your school community develop core Social and Emotional Learning practices in real time. When taken together, the sequence gives you the opportunity to join a cohort of committed professionals and reconnect for a collaborative meeting at the second and third workshops.  Participants at all workshops will be able to reflect on and work through ideas for current classroom communities.

“[Thank] you and your fabulous team of [IFSEL] colleagues for hosting such an inspirational institute! I wanted to take the opportunity to be a learner and I truly was able to soak up such incredible insight and knowledge from all of those that were there… Transitioning from community mental health to a school I have really felt so privileged to have the ability to spend so much time with educators who can share such complex perspectives on working with children. The IFSEL was such an awesome bridge for me and grounding place…

Thank you again!”

"Finally, a 5th grader, who has never spoken up in our assemblies before said, "I think it's like learning a really tough piece in piano.  Sometimes it's so hard you have to decide, 'Do I stick with it or do I quit?'  I'm dealing with something in my life right now where I have to make that decision.  It's hard, but I'm learning what that feels like and how to be honest with myself about it."

The reason I share this with you is that I attribute our SEL work to helping our students continue to find their voices.  There are so many layers in the comments above.  Our students are synthesizing ideas and feelings.  They are seeking out examples of family and friends and allowing others to be an influence in their lives.  And finally, our students are taking risks, real risks, and navigating their lives with confidence...all while not being afraid to be without answers in the process.  

Things like Check-ins, Open Session, and themed advisory activities are helping our already healthy community find new depths.  Thank you to you and your team for your guidance, support and mentoring."

Dear Teachers Across the Country,

We envision a world where empathy abounds and all people thrive.

This week has amplified the need for SEL skills and practices immeasurably. Last summer, we ended the Bay Area Institute with a message of hope to “let the heart of education be strong, even fierce when it needs to be.”  Today, that hope is changing our practices, moment by moment.

We hear countless stories and see the profound challenges for you personally, within the classroom, and on your students and families. Each of you are the weavers of critical threads that hold together community and connection in your schools.  

In this shared state of uncertainty it may feel as if you are staying just above water.  Some of us are cautious; others elated.  Many feel distraught, betrayed, and are grieving.

We see more than ever, that nothing could be more important than the skills and tools of social and emotional learning while being open to our students’ development and learning; strengthening inclusive communities and striving to bring about enduring empathy and understanding.

The IFSEL team reaches out to you with our sincere emotional support and some resources for the weeks ahead following the ongoing turmoil in our country, our schools and our hearts over this presidential election.

UPDATE: The 4 day 2016 Summer Institute is now full, but a few places remain for the SELected Sessions day on Friday, August 5. Click here for more details and to register.

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We are excited to share that our Summer Institute is filling up quickly! Register soon and join the nationwide momentum for inspiring creative and practical ways to transform schools into caring and inclusive communities with Social and Emotional Learning.

The Summer Institute provides four days of informative and inspirational workshops for Educators, Administrators, and Counselors teaching K—12th grade.

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