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Quote: The absolute best professional development experience Iíve had in over 15 years of teaching.

After 53 years and counting, we continue to offer our yearly Institutes at the Brooks School in North Andover MA (June 18–23, 2016) and at the Fountain Valley School in CO (Aug. 3–8, 2016). The teachers we’ve met each summer could not be more committed and delightful.

This past year we had waitlists at both Institutes and filled early, so we encourage you to apply as soon as you can to ensure that there is space available. If you decide to apply late in the spring, please call to make sure there is room for you! We cap enrollment in order to maintain small groups and to create the opportunity for a personally meaningful experience for all who attend.

We’re offering some upcoming opportunities to get a taste of the Institute: On December 4th, Associate Director Paula Chu and I will be presenting two workshops at the TABS conference in Boston; and in February I will be co-presenting a session at the NAIS Annual Conference in San Francisco with a team from San Francisco’s University High School. Alex Lockett (Dean of Students) and Shoba Farrell (advising leader and math teacher) designed an advising program that incorporates the Institute model of deep listening as a core component. I had the privilege of offering two trainings to their advisors, and we will present on the design, school buy-in, training, implementation, and program results.

Much has changed in the world, and the impact on how we teach and communicate is profound, posing both challenges and opportunities. The core of the Institute’s mission and work addresses some of those challenges: we focus on how to listen deeply to students, to understand what they are thinking and feeling, and to provide support as they navigate an increasingly complex world. Advisors, classroom teachers, deans, coaches, housefaculty, staff — all adults in our schools find that students have a thirst for real relationships with adults who care about them: meaningful moments of connection make all the difference.

Attendees at the Institute give us their highest rating; they talk about the way the Institute has enriched their role and relationship with students. They tell us how they come away with the skills and tools to make these deeper connections and better understand. We hope you will talk with Institute alumni from your school, as they will be able to share their sense of how attending might be particularly helpful to your work. We are happy to speak with you if you have any questions.

The Stanley King Counseling Institute would not have lasted over 50 years if independent schools didn’t believe that the teacher who can really listen is the teacher who connects. As you know, when a student feels that connection, a sense of motivation and true belonging to your school community naturally follows. This makes the world of difference to the student and to the teacher as well.

We look forward to working together,

Ellen Porter Honnet, Ed.D.