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

With our 50th anniversary celebrated last year, we continue to meet annually at the Brooks School in North Andover MA (June 24–29, 2015) and at the Fountain Valley School in CO (Aug. 4–9, 2015). We are deeply grateful that so many schools have confidence in our work—we have been fully enrolled over the past six years, with increasing numbers of schools training teams in our model of deep listening. We encourage you to apply early.

This fall, Institute faculty member Paula Chu and I are excited to be presenting at The Association of Boarding Schools (TABS) conference in Washington, DC, being held Dec 4–6. Our talk is “Students Need to Talk: When and How Should We Listen?” It should be a lively exchange and chance to polish our listening skills. Also, in what has become somewhat of a wonderful tradition, I will be giving a workshop again at NAIS in Boston (Feb 25–27) with Jack Creeden, Head of the NAIS Board and President of School Year Abroad. Our title is “Leading and Teaching through Listening: A Learning Paradigm of Connection.” We hope you will join us to learn more about our work and to connect again with Institute alums.

In the half century of the Institute, much has changed in the world and in your schools. But the core of our mission and our work is the same: we focus on how to listen deeply to students, to understand what they are thinking and feeling, and to provide support during their adolescence as they navigate an increasingly complex world. Whether we are their advisors, classroom teachers, deans, coaches—whether we work with them through the arts, learning support, technology, health center, library, or residential life—students have a thirst for real relationships with adults who care about them. Short, meaningful moments of connection and understanding make all the difference.

Attendees give us their highest rating, consistently talking about the meaningful way the Institute has changed how they see their role and relationship with students. They leave the Institute with the skills and tools to make these deeper connections. 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 talk with you if you have any questions.

The Stanley King Counseling Institute would not have lasted and thrived for over 50 years if your schools didn’t understand that the teacher who can really listen is the one who successfully connects to students. When a student feels that connection, a sense of motivation, self-efficacy and true belonging to your school community naturally follows. This makes a world of difference to the teacher as well.

We look forward to working with you,

Ellen Porter Honnet, Ed.D.