While training as a therapist and serving as a researcher for the book The Social Neuroscience of Education by Dr. Louis Cozolino, FuelEd’s founder, Megan Marcus, recognized parallels between a therapeutic milieu and the classroom environment. Though both are interpersonal learning settings, therapists are trained to leverage relationships while teachers are trained almost exclusively as technical instructors. Thus, in 2012, Marcus pursued a Master’s degree in Education, Policy, and Management from Harvard University to explore whether elements of therapists’ professional training could be translated to an educational setting to fill this gap. In July 2012, FuelEd was incorporated as a non-profit organization and piloted a three-day training with 10 teachers at Houston’s YES Prep Southwest. It was so beneficial that these teachers convinced their administration to implement a school-wide, yearlong training in the 2012-2013 school year. Since then, FuelEd has partnered with a multitude of schools, organizations, and educator preparation programs to help educators develop the emotional intelligence, health, and attunement necessary to build secure relationships that drive learning and development.
FuelEd improves student outcomes by equipping educators with the social and emotional competencies essential for building secure relationships in schools. We believe that if educators are equipped with essential abilities – interpersonal skills, self-awareness, and emotional well-being – then they will remain in their professions longer and develop more secure relationships with students, parents, and colleagues. In turn, these relationships will drive students’ academic, social, and emotional learning.
Since every human being in the educated world comes into contact with an educator, leveraging educators’ abilities to build relationships can have a powerful ripple effect throughout the community – not only alleviating social problems such as delinquency, abuse, and violence, but also increasing pro-social behaviors such as social responsibility, cooperation, and altruism.