Empowerment: Defining an Essential SEL Term

Lately, I’ve been thinking about impactful social emotional learning skills considered essential in human growth and development for a productive, healthy life - terms like respect, accountability, and empowerment. These terms are not listed in CASEL's SEL Competencies. These terms are not...

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A Lesson in Responding, Not Reacting

One of the things I'm most proud of during my teaching career occurred while I worked in the district was the opportunity to co-create a student leadership organization with two of my very dear friends. 

I served six years as a high school Student Assistance Program (SAP) Team coordinator....

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The SEL Knowing-Doing Gap

A few weeks ago, I was having a coaching conversation with some fabulous high school counselors. One of the things we discussed is how to make social emotional learning skill development very explicit for students.

In this case, I don’t mean solely really focusing on the skills the students...

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Blog Series: Four Ways to Infuse SEL - Instructional Practices

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Our third entry point or approach for infusing SEL into everything we say, think, and do are in our instructional practices. For example, every teacher I’ve ever worked with has leveraged group work or group discussion in their classroom. This post offers a few considerations for planning...

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Blog Series: Four Ways to Infuse SEL - Social Interactions

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When working with educators on infusing SEL, many often tell me, “I already do this.” What they mean, more specifically, is that they infuse social emotional learning via their SOCIAL INTERACTIONS with students. 

When asked if they explicitly tell their students which SEL skills...

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Blog Series: Four Ways to Infuse SEL - part 1

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When I was a classroom teacher and had heard of social emotional learning, my original thought was that it was all about relationships with students. The more I investigated the research, specifically from CASEL, the Collaborative for Academic Social and Emotional Learning, I realized there were...

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Time to Revisit Co-create Commitments for Optimal Learning

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As educators, we know that when there is an extended break from the classroom, it is wise to spend time the first day back re-acclimating to our class routines, norms, and each other. It is also helpful as this may be when new students enter your classroom while others may move out. 

If...

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You Don't Expect Flowers to Bloom All Year, Do You?

This past weekend, I revisited my favorite location for an acupuncture treatment. During the conversation with the doctor, I mentioned that I had visited Hawaii. In the months since I had last been there, for “whatever” reason, I was incredibly creative after my return. 

Since...

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To do or not to do: Poverty Simulations

In October, I facilitated a session on Reaching Students Who Are Experiencing Poverty in Illinois. We discussed how poverty impacts the brain and learning. We explored ways teachers can foster positive relationships with families and students experiencing poverty. In addition, we examined...

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Mental Health, Trevor Noah, and Ye

Three days ago, one of my teenage boys asked me if I had heard that Ye (formerly known as Kanye West) was a guest on InfoWars. This far-right-wing political site espouses conspiracy theories and promotes non-factual news.

I had not known this, but I knew that Ye had been using his platform to...

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