Systemic SEL implementation is a process that embeds SEL into every part of a school for both students and adults. To support this deep integration of SEL, school leadership and the SEL team can create opportunities for staff to model SEL in their everyday interactions and through more structured activities.
SEL practices can be modeled and embedded into any meeting where staff comes together. Practices may include intentional opportunities to connect personally, interact in meaningful ways, share appreciations, or take time for reflection. The 3 Signature Practices provide one concrete example of how SEL can be embedded throughout the day—in classrooms, staff meetings, and professional learning—and set the tone for our learning and interactions.
In addition to supporting staff, modeling SEL in staff meetings and professional learning provides an exemplar for teachers around building positive classroom environments and strengthening their relationships with students.
The SEL team can also encourage staff to model SEL by fostering a culture of appreciation. Staff who receive recognition for their learning and collaboration efforts are more satisfied with and engaged in their work (Cataldo, 2011) and are more likely to continue modeling social and emotional competencies for peers and students.
The SEL team can recognize staff for honoring the shared agreements by creating consistent opportunities for private and public appreciation. During these opportunities, staff make specific connections between the agreements that have been honored and how that benefited them or the group. This process also creates an exemplar for how teachers can build positive classroom environments where the efforts and contributions of all students are honored. For more appreciation strategy ideas, see the following tool.
This tool provides guidance for creating staff shared agreements through a collaborative process, to articulate core mindsets and values that will guide staff members’ interactions with colleagues, students, and families.