Developing Embodied Leadership | Teachers College Columbia University

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Women Leaders in Education: Mastering Authenticity, Influence, and Power through Embodied Leadership

May 14 - 15, 2020

May 14, 2020 - May 15, 2020

9:00am – 4:00pm each day
Teachers College, Columbia University
New York, NY

Early Registration Fee: $795

Early Registration deadline - March 27, 2020

Registration Fee: $995

Includes continental breakfast and lunch both days

Group/Team Discount (2 or more): Contact

Units Awarded: 12 Clock Hours, 12 CTLEs

This workshop is limited to 28 registrants

Building the Capacity for Mindfulness in Action

Developing powerful women leaders has never been more important or relevant. Research shows that women bring much needed skills to the current global workplace including the capacity for collaborative problem solving, team building, empathy, ability to read others and a high degree of risk taking, However, out of the 50 percent of women in management positions only 4.2% of Fortune 500 CEO’s are women.

This two-day experiential workshop explores Embodied Leadership, a radically different way of learning to lead. Particularly significant for women leaders, this body/mind approach enables women to experience the body as a source of intelligence and power in ways that directly impact their ability to act with agency, develop a consistent voice, take a stand for self and others, engage conflict and negotiation with compassion and dignity and build the resilience to deal with ambiguity, complexity, and power dynamics individually and within academic, profit and non-profit organizations.

Where most leadership study is based in case work and leadership best practices, embodied leadership accesses our interconnected system of thoughts, emotions, and neuromuscular physiology, naturally developing a powerful leadership presence, building effective interpersonal communications, and the ability to match leadership styles to leadership challenges, whether as an administrator or in the classroom.

The workshop draws on neuroscience, cognitive psychology, adult learning, and leadership best practices to help participants learn how to embody their leadership role through experiences and dialogue that:

  • Develop deep self awareness
  • Build a more powerful leadership presence that is able to stay open, present, and connected under conditions of complexity and ambiguity
  • Access the intelligence of the mind/body system
  • Cultivate the capacity for creativity, change, and connection
  • Create a compelling and actionable vision and purpose for and those you lead
  • Reduce stress and increase resilience by developing a greater range of actions
  • Work with historical issues of cultural and gender identity

Somatic practices intervene with our integrated, mind/body system in ways that can’t be addressed by cognitive processes alone, affording “a way in” in which to powerfully experience the intersection of mind and body, cultivating deep insight into our embodied, largely unconscious, patterns of perception, emotion, and action that result in the leaders we show ourselves to be.

Individually and in small groups, participants will work interactively with posture, movement, body awareness, and relationship and communication patterns that will facilitate present moment awareness of habitual, embodied mindsets and action styles that impacts leadership. As leadership practice necessarily takes place in relationship with others, experiential activities will guide participants to physically connect through mind/body practices and contact with others in order to experience their embodied reactions to identified leadership capacities and also experiment with alternative responses that allow them to take more effective actions.

In small and large group dialogue, participants will connect their somatic awareness with a grounded sense of purpose and stretch their repertoire, counterbalancing the natural tendency to choose habits that are familiar and comfortable and enabling actions, relationships and conversations that better fit particular situations. Participants will come away with somatic practices they can use for their continued leadership development and the development of others.

Whether you are a seasoned educator, beginning your leadership journey, or want to take your leadership to the next level, this workshop can help you become the courageous, strategic, and empowered educator and leader you wish to be.

This workshop is relevant to women leaders wishing to maximize their impact as current educational administrators, principals, classroom teachers and those considering making the transition from teaching to administration. Participants may benefit from having 3-5 years of professional experience so they have a frame of reference to draw upon. The common denominator is a desire to grow and expand their leadership capacity.

The workshop blends embodiment and leadership theory with embodied practices designed to facilitate awareness and provide practical tools participants can take away and use in their everyday life.

Participants are encouraged to wear comfortable clothing and no heels as the highly experiential design involves movement and participants may be standing for short periods of time.

Carmela Bennett, EdD, MS, SC

The workshop will be led by Dr. Carmela Bennett, who teaches Embodied Leadership at Columbia’s Teachers College and has worked in human development and primary and higher education for the past 30 years. A former elementary teacher at TASIS International School and lifelong dancer, Carmela holds an EdD in Leadership from Teachers College, a Masters in Counseling and has worked extensively with family and educational organizations as a counselor, educator, curriculum developer, and trainer.

As a certified executive and somatic coach, she now integrates her experience, research, and belief in human potential to maintain a successful executive coach and consulting practice with individuals and within for-profit and non-profit organizations, schools, and universities seeking to transform their professional and personal leadership. Clients include Educators 4 Excellence, Columbia Preparatory School, Stroudsburg U. Upward Bound, NYU Women’s Leadership, Columbia Executive Education, U. of Maryland, Stanford University, NRDC, and Bloomberg Philanthropies.

Dr. Bennett’s lifelong participation in the expressive arts, especially dance and movement, inspires her passion for integrating creativity and imagination that is grounded in academic theory and practice into all aspects of her work. A true ENFP, she is focused, intuitive and creative in her approach to developing personal and professional leadership. She considers our basic human desire for connection and communication a powerful and fundamental resource for meaningful change.


Pete Reilly, MS, MSC

Pete Reilly has devoted his entire professional life to empowering students, teachers, and administrators to fully utilize their unique gifts and talents. A decades long career as an educational administrator, classroom teacher, and master somatic coach, he brings a unique presence and perspective to enabling women in education to develop their leadership as teachers and administrators.

Pete’s years of experience have made him keenly aware of the challenges present in education and specifically those facing women administrators and teachers. He is the author of “A Path with Heart: The Inner Journey to Teaching Mastery” (2015), and “In the Garden of Hearts: Meditations, Consolations, and Blessing for Teachers” (2016) – books specifically focused on integrating a holistic, embodied approach to development for educators.

A graduate of Columbia Teachers College with an MS in Communications, Computing, and Technology, Pete began his career as a classroom English teacher before transitioning to educational administration. He is the former Director of the Lower Hudson Regional Information Center, the founder of the widely acclaimed Technology Leadership Institute and past President of the New York Association of Computers and Technology for Education (NYSCATE).

Pete currently facilitates educational workshops, online courses, and coaches educational leaders throughout the United States and Canada. He writes extensively on educational issues and methodology and has guest blogged for District Administrator Magazine’s site, “The Pulse”, and Education Week's nationally known blog, “LeaderTalk”. His essay, “When the Classroom Door Swings Inward” was published in the anthology, “Being Human at Work” published by North Atlantic Press.

Participants who successfully complete the workshop will receive 12 clock hours or 12 CTLEs and a Certificate of Completion.

Please note, we are not able to offer partial CTLEs for those who cannot attend the full workshop.

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