Seedlings Institute for School Leaders


The Yale Center for Emotional Intelligence, in partnership with the Seedlings Foundation, is excited to offer an opportunity for districts seeking to join the movement to build emotionally intelligent school communities.


The Seedlings Foundation supports programs that nourish the physical and mental health of children and families, and foster an educated and engaged citizenship. Since 2005, the Seedlings Educators Collaborative has provided professional development, ongoing support, and resources to educators from diverse school environments. In a supportive and actively engaging setting, educators forge ongoing relationships and community connections and leave with tools to support them throughout their careers. Paramount to this effort is providing a stimulating and nurturing environment, away from the day-to-day demands of the classroom. Seedlings educators spend time in an immersive and engaging professional development program that introduces them to educational resources they might not otherwise encounter and provides a network for sustaining the work.

At the Yale Center for Emotional Intelligence, we know that for leaders, emotions drive the effectiveness of all daily interactions – with colleagues, parents, and students – and impact school climate and culture. For educators, emotions drive their effectiveness in creating positive classroom environments and fostering student learning. For students, emotions drive their ability to learn, make effective decisions, build relationships, and perform their best academically. Ultimately, transformational leadership at the district level greatly impacts the work of reaching students.

By fusing the missions of Seedlings and the Center, we endeavor to enhance both transformational leadership and emotional intelligence skills and strategies through the Seedlings Institute for School Leaders. The Yale Center for Emotional Intelligence offers this multi-day master class as a way to provide a foundation for understanding and implementing emotional intelligence as well as a space to reflect and recharge with like-minded leaders. The Seedlings Institute gives district-level team members the knowledge, skills, and opportunities to build emotional intelligence – the skills of recognizing, understanding, labeling, expressing, and regulating emotion – in all stakeholders at schools. It also explores leadership development topics, such as visioning, conflict management, and systems thinking. We are excited to convene district and school leaders for this immersive and rejuvenating experience, which occurs each summer at Yale. Through a generous grant from the Seedlings Foundation, districts can access this professional development opportunity at a fraction of the actual cost.

School leaders who attend the Seedlings Institute will also attend an Anchors of Emotional Intelligence Institute with a leadership team from their school. The Anchors Institute, through the research-based and CASEL SELect approach for social and emotional learning called RULER, will prepare pilot school teams to implement the skills and tools of emotional intelligence both among staff and in the classroom. With district-level support and development opportunities provided for school leaders, this partnership aims to see large-scale positive shifts in the culture of the district, schools, and broader community.

To contact us for more information about the Seedlings Institute for School Leaders, click here.




“I am more aware of my triggers and with that awareness I can be proactive in how I may prepare myself to handle those in my work and personal life. I feel that this concept and skill development will improve how adults and students interact in a school day. With this awareness comes a stronger, more positive school culture which will then provide a richer learning environment for all stakeholders.”

— 2015 Seedlings Institute Participant