Betsy Burris PhD, MSW, LCSW
As a teacher, teacher educator, psychotherapist, and mother, I know the power of emotions. I am devoted to the task of helping people, especially educators, harness the power of their emotions so they can do their best work.
The truth is that emotions tell us a lot about ourselves, about our students, partners, and colleagues, and about our children’s and students’ development. Emotions offer incredibly accurate information about our relationships. Why should this information matter to educators? Because relationships are the foundation out of which all learning emerges. And because they are the cause of so much teacher misery.
The work I do in Teaching through Emotions reduces misery and the chances of burnout. It increases relational alignment in classrooms and schools so students and teachers can learn and grow freely. It helps teachers feel better every day about themselves, their colleagues, and their students.
Here’s what I do: I consult with schools, school districts, and other types of groups to foster effective working relationships. I organize and run Teacher Support Groups and Study Groups. I train teachers who want to organize and run their own Teacher Support Groups. I give talks and workshops about the emotions, relationships, and dynamics of teaching and learning. And I coach administrators and teachers individually, in person or online.
Here are my vital statistics: I have a Ph.D. in education from Stanford University. I have a MSW from Smith College and I am a Licensed Clinical Social Worker (LCSW). Over the past 20 years, I have taught in teacher education programs at Stanford University, Dominican College, Connecticut College, and Bennington College; I have directed teacher education programs at Stanford (STEP) and Bennington (the MATSL). In the past decade I have been a psychotherapist for children and adults at the Kids’ Place (Pittsfield, MA), Williams College (Williamstown, MA), and the Brien Center for Mental Health and Substance Abuse (North Adams, MA). I am married to Brad Wells and mother to Mae and Wilder.
I have written a book about emotions and relationships in the classroom. It’s called The Feeling of Teaching: Using Emotions and Relationships to Transform the Classroom. It is available for sale (in e-book form) at most e-book distributors, including Amazon.com, and it is available in print form from me.
I’d love to hear from you. Email me!