What is somatics? Why offer somatic education for youth?
The word “somatic,” from the Greek somatikos, means about the body, and today encompasses a range of learning systems involving movement and sensory perception, also referred to as ‘embodiment’ practices. These practices can be key to helping our youth to thrive, providing an entirely new framework for understanding their bodies and the relationship between their physical and emotional well-being. Somatic Movement Education provides embodied learning in a cross-curricular approach blending science, movement, mindfulness, social-emotional learning and arts.
Somatic movement practices help to expand kinesthetic awareness, increase resilience, and build essential self-care skills to take into adulthood. Somatic movement education also promotes essential social and emotional learning—such as gaining compassion for self and other, respecting diversity, and recognizing our inherent interdependence with the planet we all share. While many schools are beginning to integrate practices such as mindfulness and yoga, Somatic Movement Education (SME) is the next frontier in true holistic education.
Who is this training for?
The Embodiment in Education Teacher Certification training is for
- professionals with a background in movement and somatics who work with youth or young adults or want to extend their reach to working with them
- professionals who work with youth or young adults in an educational context and want to expand their offerings through a more embodied and student-centered approach
A limited number of spaces in Module I are available to:
- graduate students and young professionals who want to explore embodied practices to enhance their own resources and consider a profession related to somatic movement education
What populations does this training prepare me to work with?
The focus of the Embodiment in Education Teacher Certification Program is on working within an educational (versus therapeutic) context, geared toward a general student population. Activities are targeted for a grade 7-12 population, as well as toward young college-level adults.
Professionals working with specialized populations, and / or with K-6 students, are still encouraged to apply and may be accepted into the program, providing they have an extensive enough background to consider modifications for that population. Those with experience in such areas also have an opportunity to focus their final project on integrating the Embodiment in Education training into their particular area of interest / expertise and receive feedback and evaluation on their work by qualified professionals.
Please note that although the training covers basics related to recognizing stress, trauma, and working with special needs, the overall program is not geared toward working with specialized populations.
What are the applications for the learning, i.e. where can I apply the knowledge from this training?
You can apply this learning in many educational contexts. The somatic curriculum explored in this training is applicable to teaching various movement practices, including dance, physical education, martial arts, yoga, and leisure activities. Activities can also greatly enhance programs in mindfulness and social-emotional development, by including a basis for embodied learning. Educators in areas of social justice, outdoor education, and environmental activism can also apply many of the activities to enhance their programs through embodied and ecosomatic learning.
And additionally, the learning from this training inevitably translates into your own life, enhancing your relationship with yourself and your body and helping you to create daily habits and practices that positively impact your own health and well-being.
Ideally, participants will also be motivated to apply this learning to teach somatic movement education as an independent course(s) once they receive the full Embodiment in Education Teacher Certification, and as schools and youth programs become more aware of the benefits of SME.
What certifications, qualifications and or affiliations will I receive on completion?
Those who successfully complete Modules I – III and all required prerequisites and outside work receive the Embodiment in Education(TM) 300 hour Certificate of Completion. Those with a dance background and appropriate degrees will also have the necessary hours to apply to become a Registered Somatic Dance Educator (RSDE) with ISMETA.
Those who also successfully complete Module IV and all required outside work receive the Embodiment in Education Teacher(TM) 500 hour Certificate of Completion. You will also be able to apply to become a Registered Somatic Movement Educator (RSME) with ISMETA through the Independent Track.
What are the Pre-requisites?
Applicants for the full Embodiment in Education Teacher Certification Program are encouraged to take the Embodiment Essentials course first, to gain experience working with Susan and the somatic movement material. This course or equivalent experience (see below) is required to join Module I.
Applicants for Module I will need the following pre-requisites:
- a background in one or more specific movement forms (such as dance, yoga, martial arts, physical education), and
- some experience working with youth and / or young adults (preferably middle school, high school, and / or college).
- some exposure to and / or study of one or more somatic disciplines, along with some minimal study of anatomy. (preferable, though applicants will be evaluated on a case-by-case basis).
In the full program there are further pre-requisites in somatics and anatomy, some of which will need to be completed before the start of Module II, with additional study and practice teaching requirements to be completed before the start of Module III. [More information upcoming].
Is this an in-person or online training?
The Embodiment in Education Teacher Certification Program is primarily an in-person summer training, with some additional online hours during the year. Specifically, Modules I – III are each approximately 2 ½ weeks of in-person learning per module, plus additional online webinar cohort meetings scheduled in-between modules.
NOTE: Beginning in summer 2020, all programs are being offered online until further notice. We hope to return to in-person learning options as well when the situation allows.
Is there homework during the Modules, or between modules?
Yes. During each module there are short readings, journal writing, study groups, and other homework activities to help integrate and expand on your learning. There are also ample days off during the program to ensure a balanced learning approach, with time for integration and rest as well.
In-between modules there are also online webinar meetings for further teaching and support.
Completion of all assignments / webinars are required for Certification.
What happens if I miss some classes in a Module?
Given the physical nature of much of the in-person training, you will need to make up the content for any missed classes, with a peer or approved teacher, depending upon the material missed. Additionally, more than 3 missed classes in any one Module may mean the Module will not count toward certification. Depending upon material missed, you may be able to use outside make-up work with an approved teacher to complete the certification program.
We also ask that you do not attend if you are sick, since there are often movement activities and / or partner work that necessitate close contact with other participants. We will make every effort to help you find a means to make up the work in a timely manner following an illness.
Is there a final project that will result in usable material i.e. article, workshop, curriculum, syllabi?
Yes. Those enrolled in the Teacher Certification Program create a final project of their own design, in consultation with the Program Director, as a culmination of their studies. The primary focus of each project is on embodied learning rather than academic research. The final project may also include creation of any number of educational materials, including writings, workshops, or creation of syllabi or curriculum. Participants have their projects evaluated and receive peer and instructor feedback on their work. Approval of the final project and video documentation of the work is needed to receive your Certification.
What about accommodations (food and lodging) during the module?
Accommodations are not included in the tuition fee; all students need to make their own plans for housing and meals during the program. (Please note that Module III or IV may be a residential retreat, in which case additional fees will be required to cover meals and lodging).
Are there any additional expenses for the program?
Yes, a few. In addition to any travel, lodging, and meal expenses you may have, you have a small required reading list of books and articles, which you may choose to purchase or find other means to read.
For those enrolled in the full Teacher Certification Program, there are also a certain number of individual sessions with Susan and / or a Registered Somatic Educator that you will need to complete to support your learning and individual growth throughout the program. You will pay related fees for these services directly to your chosen professional(s).
How do I apply?
To apply for Module I you can complete your application online, which includes basic information and several short essay responses about your background and interests, and then submit this along with your deposit. You may be asked to have a phone / Skype interview as well, and will generally receive news about your acceptance status in 2-3 weeks.
To apply for the next Embodiment Essentials course you can apply online as well, with a short application and deposit fee required. Once accepted you can pay your remaining tuition and receive further information to prepare you for the program.
NOTE: Beginning in summer 2020, all programs are currently being offered online until further notice. We hope to return to in-person learning options as well as the situation allows.
For further information on any of the programs please contact susan at