How can professional learning facilitators lean into the five SEL competencies to advance equity and excellence?
SELF-AWARENESS → with a focus on identity
“My identities impact how I perceive and navigate the world and how others perceive me. It is important to be aware of this and continue to explore and reflect on this.”
Example: A facilitator reviews their session design and facilitation plan with a lens for biases. They ask, “Did I design this session to meet my own needs as a learner, or did I take into account other people’s learning styles and preferences? In what ways can my session design or facilitation style be more culturally responsive or culturally aware? What would that look and sound like? How will I be perceived by this group of people, and what gaps should I be aware of or acknowledge between our lived experiences?”
SELF-MANAGEMENT → with a focus on agency
“I know I can have an impact and choose to act to improve conditions for myself and others. I will intentionally make room for others to act as well.”
Example: A facilitator recognizes that the choices they make have power to promote deeper engagement among participants. They consider what can be done to meet the needs of everyone participating, such as compensation, adequate time, classroom coverage, or meals. They offer participants choices about how they will engage with material, and during the session provide time and guidance for them to plan their next steps.
SOCIAL AWARENESS → with a focus on belonging
“I am best able to contribute when I feel I am valued, welcomed, and an essential part of this community. It’s important to support others to feel this way, too.”
Example: A facilitator first determines why the topic matters to participants and how they need to feel in order to engage in learning activities. They recognize that participant behavior that may look like resistance or hesitance to engage is often connected to social dynamics, and they tailor the design of their session with activities to build trust and a sense of belonging.
RELATIONSHIP SKILLS → with a focus on collaborative problem-solving
“I am more effective when I listen to others to understand problems and share ideas to develop solutions. The process of sharing power and working together is important to get to the best solution.”
Example: A facilitator designs the session to limit their own talk time and promote opportunities for individual and group processing and discovery. They ask for feedback and openly share what they learned from the group’s feedback and how it will be incorporated.
RESPONSIBLE DECISION-MAKING → with a focus on curiosity
“I lean in with courage and choose to learn about myself, others, and the world. It is important to be open to and seek new information and perspectives when making decisions.”
Example: A professional learning participant makes no secret of the fact that they don’t think the session is a good use of their time. Resisting the impulse to feel defensive, the facilitator leans into curiosity and asks questions to better understand where they are coming from, looking for common ground. They communicate that critical perspectives are an asset and make shifts so that all participants can use built-in planning time to do work that is meaningful to them.