On today’s roundtable, Reid Hickman and Megan Marcus discuss the importance of relationship building in the sphere of education in the United States. Relationship building is one of the leadership qualities needed to not only create a space for teaching and learning but also for leaders to address the inequities in education that exist in classrooms, schools, districts, states, all the way to the capitol. Some Teach For America corps members and alumni leverage FuelEd’s tools to grow their ability to build relationships with those around them. This framework is one of several that Teach For America teacher’s use builds and sustain a healthy classroom learning environment. Reid and Megan’s relationship began when Reid attended a conference that Megan was facilitating, Leadership Institute. Reid saw it as a microcosm of how a teacher and leader cultivate both relationship building and growing in a learning environment.
Reid Hickman began his career in education as a classroom teacher on the Rosebud Reservation in South Dakota, through Teach For America’s corps member program. He continued to teach in Gary, IN and quickly found passion in training and supporting teachers. He worked several Institutes, Teacher For America’s summer programming, in which he supported, trained, and coached teachers in low-income communities through summer school. The most impactful of these being a 10-week role supporting Teach For Malaysia’s inaugural corps, being part of an international cooperative team. Upon returning back to the USA, Reid searched for and found a position to coach teachers year-round. This year-round teacher support on Teach For America’s Connecticut team. Collaboration and relationships were at the center of his success as a teacher, as well as for those he coached. His awareness of and interest in a classroom’s learning environment grew over his 4 years of work in Connecticut, leading him to his current role as Managing Director of Learning Environment at Teach For America. Reid’s path has led him to deeply believe that teaching is a form of leadership. As leaders do, teachers also collaborate and build relationships to establish an environment where students are empowered and joyful and learning who they, and their community, are as learners and people.
Since 2012 Megan Marcus has passionately served the educational community as FuelEd’s CEO. Megan holds a B.A. in Psychology from the University of California at Berkeley and Master’s degrees in Psychology from Pepperdine University. While at Pepperdine, Megan studied under Dr. Louis Cozolino and served as the lead researcher for his book, The Social Neuroscience of Education. Megan then completed a Master’s degree in Education, Policy, and Management from Harvard University, where she explored how to translate the elements of a therapists’ professional training to an educational setting. Her research with Dr. Cozolino and studies at Harvard combined to form the core beliefs that became the bedrock of FuelEd.
FuelEd was founded to equip educators with the tools they need to build these secure attachments. They partner with K-12 schools, education organizations, and educator preparation programs to develop teachers and school leaders into secure attachment figures so that every adult in schools is emotionally intelligent, healthy, and attuned to build secure relationships that drive learning and development.