Students have a unique perspective on how high-level decisions impact the day-to-day life of the school, and their voices are critical to quality schoolwide SEL implementation. By listening to students, schools can make informed decisions about the changes that will best support all learners.
When teachers build the structures that support belonging and emotional safety, they lay the groundwork for students to focus on learning (Sergiovanni, 1994 in Darling-Hammond et al., 2017).
The SEL team serves as a model for positive practices that promote healthy relationships among adults, students, and families. It’s highly beneficial to build a strong team dynamic and positive working relationship by developing group norms and team routines.
Professional learning communities provide an important opportunity to integrate SEL into existing practices, work collaboratively on the goals of schoolwide SEL, and cultivate their own social and emotional competencies.
Just as it’s important to model SEL for students in the classroom, it’s also important for adults to consistently model social-emotional competencies with each other.
By building an SEL team that reflects the school community and incorporates many points of view, the school will be better able to meet its needs and build commitment to SEL.
To ensure meetings are productive, it’s a good idea to define team roles and responsibilities, and strive to share work equitably.
Empathetic listening and problem-solving are two social and emotional skills that educators frequently use. When staff use these skills to consult with their colleagues, they find ways to address challenges to schoolwide SEL implementation that everyone can act upon.
As your SEL team works with teachers to align SEL and academic objectives, it’s also important to consider how the content is delivered so that it supports the practice of social and emotional competencies.
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