Education Transformations - Providing Soc/Emot Training to Schools & More


I am a co-founder of the nonprofit organization, Education Transformations, and my partner Jacqueline Hicks and I have a long history in education.  Our company works with districts, schools and teachers (and we can work with other organizations as well) to improve Social/Emotional Intelligence (EQ), and what we call Relational Competency.  Our work is based on the philosophy and practice of renowned humanist psychologist Dr. Carl Rogers, and we feel we address something that most SEL programs don’t, that of the teacher’s S/E competency.  Although there are many wonderful programs out there that provide strategies and tools and ways to teach SEL, we have not found any other organization that approaches it the way we do, which is to focus on and develop the teacher’s abilities and competencies - a foundational missing component from those other programs.  

Our K-12 S/E yearlong Relational Competency curriculum requires an initial training, however the curriculum itself allows teachers to improve their own EQ along with their students, throughout the year.  It is flexible and adaptable to the needs of the classroom and school.  When implemented school-wide, it creates a school climate shift away from bullying and disconnect, to that of compassion and caring, as all involved become more self-aware, responsible, and empathetic.  This unique K-12 S/E curriculum gives teachers the tools to easily bring SEL into their classrooms.

We have two upcoming workshops in August: Click here to see

Background Info:

The Problem: Students are graduating from high school (and college), and report feeling unprepared for real life.  They are often unable to effectively: resolve problems, work collaboratively, embrace diversity, think critically, offer leadership, listen empathically, or take personal responsibility.

The Solution: Teaching students and educators relational competency skills.  Research shows that Social/Emotional development is a key factor for both teachers’ AND students’ accomplishments  – academically, as well as in their lives generally.  How well we relate to others is crucial to our success and happiness in life.  But teachers are often expected to teach SEL competencies without having properly learned them themselves!

Here is a link to a recently published CASEL research paper on the importance and need for adequate teacher training in SEL:

Education Week also recently published a related article ( Here is an excerpt:

Building a Healthy School Climate

Roger Weissberg, the chief knowledge officer of CASEL, said many of the districts he has worked with "started with [social-emotional] programming for kids and then backed up and said, 'You know, if we did it all over again, we'd focus on the social-emotional competence of adults first.'"

Still, Weissberg said, he has also seen teachers receive the benefits of social-emotional health when they teach students the competencies, since teachers learn to model them more intentionally.

The key is high-quality professional learning, he said, which should be ongoing. "These are not skills you hear about in a 45-minute PD [professional-development] session, it's a lifetime process to develop these skills," said Vicki Zakrzewski, the education director of the Greater Good Science Center at the University of California, Berkeley.

Carla Swan Gerstein
(619) 227-2307
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Education Transformations is dedicated to the effectiveness and success of our teachers and our schools, by teaching educators (and through them, students) the skills needed to have authentic, meaningful, and influential relationships.  We offer a unique K-12 Relational Competency social/emotional student curriculum, as well as several communication skill building workshops for teachers and other adults who work with children.


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And it's critical that education about ACEs science be included in any curriculum, so that teachers, administrators, etc., have a complete understanding of why kids and adults behave and react the way they do!

We figure that there are several hundred schools that are learning about ACEs science and are integrating trauma-informed and resilience-building tools, such as SEL and restorative practice.

It's definitely a drop in the bucket, but it's a trend that's growing rapidly.

Last edited by Jane Stevens (ACEs Connection staff)

Wonderful and exciting to hear that this is being implemented!  Working with at risk and homeless youth, they lack the tools necessary to be socially accepted by their peers, to begin with.  So, if the staff, teachers and students have the tools to be socially and cognitively conscious about how they treat others' our kids will have a better chance at succeeding in a system that sometimes turn them into outcasts.



Hi Jane, thanks for your interest.  While Ed Trans is relatively new to the ACEs concepts, so we have not integrated their science in directly, indirectly we feel our curriculum supports children in working through some of these, through our person centered foundational approach, which elicits empathy, authenticity and non-judgement.

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