Social and Emotional Learning (SEL)

said incorporating SEL into a remote or blended classroom was a top challenge area where support is needed.

Professional development around social-emotional learning (SEL) can give teachers practical approaches to integrating the topic within their classes. The additional support can also help clearly explain the evidence how of SEL benefits not only SEL development and mental health, but all educational goals, including academic outcomes. Principals we interviewed recognized that “professional development on building relationships with students is a critical need.”

Guiding Questions

Critical need“PD on building relationships with students is a critical need.”

  • What SEL strategies do teachers need to know to nurture students’ sense of belonging and well-being?
  • What SEL strategies do teachers need to know to build connection and collaboration while teaching content?
Use these selected strategies and resources
High-leverage Strategies Aligned Resources

PD on Integrating SEL

PD on integrating SEL into teaching and learning should focus on high priority topics such as:

  • Growth mindset and mindfulness in the classroom
  • Building relationships
  • Supporting students’ SEL needs while also maintaining standards and providing rigorous instruction

Use CASEL’s Priority Setting Questionnaire to get a quick snapshot of your district’s current approach to SEL and identify which key activities to focus on.

Integrating SEL into Staff and Grade-Level Meetings includes two practical CASEL tools to embed SEL PD into existing collaboration times:

  • Three Signature SEL Practices for Adult Learning, which describes how to include three critical elements into any student or adult class, meeting, or engagement
  • Using Grade-Level and Content Area Team Meetings to Support SEL, which provides guidance for using grade-level team meetings to address four areas: supportive classroom environment, integration of SEL into instruction, explicit SEL instruction, and student-centered discipline

Clear and Consistent Procedures for SEL

Support teachers and teams to establish clear and consistent procedures and set up routines that help all young people feel safe to interact and engage in learning.

The Planning Procedures for Supportive Environments tool from The CASEL Guide to Schoolwide Social and Emotional Learning can help you develop procedures for routines.

Ongoing SEL Touchpoints

Support the use of advisory or homeroom as an ongoing SEL touchpoint.

One high quality SEL web-based program – Second Step for middle school – focuses on the growth mindset and can be integrated into homeroom, advisory or elsewhere.

These resources offer brief SEL touchpoints to incorporate into advisory or homeroom or at the beginning or end of class:

  • GoNoodle for movement and mindfulness
  • Teacher Planning Notebook, which includes various SEL-focused openers and closers (Slides 13-15) that teachers can use in remote or hybrid settings. (New Visions for Public Schools)

One-on-One Relationship Building

Empower teachers to prioritize one-on-one relationship building with students. Some tools include:

  • Phone or video calls with each child on a rotating basis, to keep it manageable and equitable
  • Online chats
  • Check-in surveys