Review your current level of implementation, identify needs and resources, set goals, and develop concrete action steps for SEL implementation.
An important part of schoolwide SEL implementation is ongoing, high-quality professional learning that supports staff in developing practices that prioritize and promote SEL. Effective professional learning involves educators as active participants in their learning and is focused on schoolwide impact rather than solely individual growth. As your team develops an SEL implementation plan, determine what professional learning needs to occur to achieve your goals. For example:
Goal 1: All teachers will begin integrating SEL into at least one lesson plan per week beginning on Nov. 15, 2019.
For each implementation goal, consider:
Regardless of the source, professional learning is most effective when it is supported by school leaders, provides participants with opportunities to practice what they are learning, and allows time for reflecting on progress. For more on effective professional learning, see Learning Forward’s Standards for Professional Learning.
Phillips Elementary School’s Professional Learning Plan
Phillips Elementary School uses a collective and collaborative structure for professional learning about SEL. Their professional learning plan emphasizes three critical concepts: time, universal implementation, and leadership.
“Time” means that SEL is an instructional priority. Professional learning has a place on every meeting agenda and professional activity, and time is dedicated every week throughout the school year for staff members to discuss, review, reflect on, and improve classroom and schoolwide SEL implementation.
“Universal implementation” means that all adults at the school participate in ongoing professional learning for SEL. Adults practice the SEL skills they are learning so they can lead students and families in SEL activities. Participating school personnel include classroom teachers, office staff, paraprofessionals, yard duty supervisors, cafeteria staff, after-school staff, and any other adult who touches students’ lives.
“Leadership” refers to the expectation that everyone should be part of establishing and developing a positive school culture. Every adult and student in the school is encouraged to model and reinforce SEL in every aspect of school life. Funding and other forms of support are allocated to facilitate professional SEL-related learning opportunities and programming.
Staff is motivated to participate in these professional learning opportunities because they are teacher-led, provide a safe learning environment for open sharing of experiences and ideas, highlight practical teaching practices, and address the academic, social, and emotional needs of students in ways that are relevant and practical.
You can read more about ongoing, embedded professional learning in Focus Areas 2 and 3. You can also capture your professional learning plans in the SEL Planner, then use the following sections to outline the resources you’ll need and a communication strategy.