FuelEd was founded to bridge the gap in new teacher preparation.
During her time as a research assistant in the field of developmental psychology and attachment theory, FuelEd founder, Megan Marcus, discovered that learning only occurs within the context of a safe and healthy relationship - a secure attachment relationship. These are the relationships that drive learning, and they are developed using a very specific set of relationship-building skills.
Megan realized teachers needed to know about these relationships and understand how to build them if they were to be successful in the classroom. However, she discovered that most teacher training programs were primarily focused on pedagogy, technical skills, and subject matter curriculum and content. At best, some programs encouraged teachers to ‘connect with or build relationships with students,’ but any reference to the type of relationship to build or how to build them was lacking. FuelEd was founded to bridge this gap.
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Just like leadership and teaching, relationship skills can be taught, practiced, and developed. FuelEd has translated research-based best practices from counseling psychology into practical and applicable relationship skills training for educators.
Our programs strengthen educator self-awareness and social-emotional competency. Research highlights the importance of first unpacking any negative formative experiences to enable people to build future healthy relationships and behaviors. FuelEd programs are designed with this in mind. They give teachers, school and district leaders safe spaces, a scaffolded introduction to the science of relationships, and ample time to reflect on how their childhoods shaped them and influence their personal and professional behavior today.
The science that our programs are built upon opens the door to healing and personal and professional growth—unlocking educators’ ability to build secure relationships that will make them better teachers and leaders going forward.
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Demonstrating empathy builds safe and productive relationships. When teachers and leaders use empathic communications skills, they support healing, reflection, problem-solving, exploration, and growth in students and educators.
New teacher mentors and coaches need well-honed empathy communications skills and must be equipped to pass on those skills to less experienced educators. That's the focus of FuelEd's Empathy School professional learning and another way in which we help districts bridge the gap in new teacher preparation.
I enjoyed the opportunity to explore the emotional aspect of teaching versus the academic.
In 2017, Megan was named as an Ashoka Fellow, "a leading social entrepreneur recognized to have innovative solutions to social problems and the potential to change patterns across society.” Check out the video below in which Megan shares how she identified a gap in new teacher preparation and founded FuelEd.
Revisit a simple, foundational technique for practicing empathic listening with those in our personal and professional lives.
In this episode, Dr. Kay Ayre and Dr. Govind Krishnamoorthy of the Trauma-Informed Educators podcast speak with Megan Marcus from FuelEd about:
It's critical to take the time to name and celebrate the ways that you are being held, and are holding others, and to honor the tears you’ve shed together.