The science is clear: Integrating social-emotional learning and mindfulness into the classroom and our schools is good for both students and the adults who work with them.

But why are social-emotional learning (SEL) and mindfulness good for us? How do these practices improve our overall well-being--including our ability to learn, prevent burnout, and develop positive relationships? How can we cultivate social-emotional and mindfulness skills in both our students and ourselves and encourage colleagues around us to do so as well? What gets in the way of developing our social and emotional competencies, and how can we overcome those challenges?

This six-day, five-night retreat gives education professionals from all over the world the opportunity to dive into the science and practice of social and emotional well-being in order to better understand how to cultivate this well-being within themselves and their students.

In addition to brief lectures, participants will engage in deep self-reflection, thought-provoking discussions, and collaborative strategy sessions as they consider how this science applies to pedagogy, classroom and school climate, stand-alone lessons, curricula, staff development, and their own personal development. They will also have the opportunity to informally share their own SEL and mindfulness practices with each other.

In order to form a strong support network—one that will last long after the Institute is over--participants will be divided into “families” of eight to ten that work, explore, and play together throughout the six days. Participants will also have plenty of opportunities to connect with other educators outside their families.

In addition to this support network, participants will leave empowered with cutting-edge, science-based social-emotional and mindfulness strategies, tools, and techniques to implement this important aspect of student and teacher development in their school environments.

They will also leave with a deeper understanding of who we are as human beings.

To apply, please click on the “Application” tab and fill out the on-line form. The application deadline is midnight on January 15, 2016. Applications submitted after January 15th will automatically be placed on the wait list.

Groups of three or more from the same school and/or district will receive a 10% discount per person.

Institute Leaders

Vicki Zakrzewski, Ph.D., is the education director at the Greater Good Science Center and a former teacher and school leader.




Brooke Lavelle-Heineberg, Ph.D., is a senior program officer at the Mind and Life Institute and co-founder of the Cognitively-Based Compassion Training program at Emory University.




Who Should Attend?

Pre-K through university-level educators, counselors, psychologists, and school and district-level administrators who are interested in cultivating the social-emotional well-being of students and the adults who work with them.


"The institute was the best I have ever attended. The leadership and conference design have been impeccable. You guys are so attuned to the needs and predilections of teachers."

"I have never been to a conference where educators were treated with such respect and professionalism and compassion."

"Armed with some powerful tools, I am returning to the teachers, mentors, and administrators I work with more passionate than ever about SEL. Determined to make changes in my organization, I now feel I have the resources and collective community to do this effectively. This has been an honor and I know the experience will have a ripple-effect in my field."

"Hard to imagine a more meaningful, impactful professional development experience as an educator."

"Inspired, heart is full, mind is blown with new insights/resources/information. Heart is overflowing with gratitude for all of the connections and collaboration, the sense that we are now truly a part of something greater than ourselves. I had no idea how rich and fulfilling this experience would be. While I can't wait to enjoy the remainder of summer break, I truly can't wait to get back to work to put my ideas and inspiration into action."

"This was a phenomenal professional and personal development experience. In addition to enriching our mental understandings of how the brain and physiological systems help us or block us from experiencing positive emotion, the experiential practices helped us really feel the sensations we want to bring back to our schools. This was the best way I could have used these five days this summer! I would recommend this conference without reservation and with great enthusiasm! This conference clarified so much for me, and I feel much more confident about making specific changes to help my staff and students."

"This institute has highlighted the importance of a teacher's (my!) mental and emotional health, an idea that so often, in education, is seen as selfish and/or a waste of time."

"I am extremely grateful that the GGSC exists. I benefit from the articles regularly and the Summer Institute for Educators has been an absolute dream come true."

"This conference has raised my level of consciousness to understand that by developing one's self, one creates opportunities to lift the lives of others. By learning to value and love one's self, one has an opportunity to create a world for the greater good."