Principal - May/June 2021 - 26

C
L

KING UP

A six-step recipe for success |

By M. Diane McCormick

ooking for a tasty way to spice up SEL in your school? Stir in some adult SEL! The
plateful of four essential approaches for delivering SEL-set a positive climate, offer

explicit SEL instruction, integrate SEL into academic instruction and out-of-school-time
(OST) activities, and build school-OST partnerships-isn't part of a balanced diet unless
your teachers and instructors are steeped in their own emotional competence.
The six key steps of adult SEL and their serving suggestions emerged from the testkitchen elementary schools and out-of-school programs participating in The Wallace
Foundation's Partnerships for Social and Emotional Learning Initiative (PSELI). When adults
understand the whys and hows of SEL, you have a recipe for SEL success that cooks up
perfectly every time.

STEP

1

Measure
Adult SEL
Teachers and OST instructors agreed
on the importance of baking in their
own SEL skills before they could
promote the social, emotional, and
academic learning of their students.
Key ingredients in adult SEL competence include empowering teachers'
decision-making, making consistent
time for SEL instruction, modeling SEL
at the administrator level, detailing
what staff needs to feel safe and supported, and applying SEL practices for
welcoming, optimistic staff meetings.

*

26

M A Y / J U N E 2 0 2 1 * N A E S P. O R G

STEP

2

Sprinkle in
Hands-on
Practice
Teachers know that hands-on learning
works best for children, and it's most
effective for adults, too. In fact, PSELI
teachers and OST staff agreed that
hands-on training would help them
better digest SEL lessons for immediate use with students. The vast majority asked for a sauté of professional
development in SEL instruction to
help differentiate learning and meet
the needs of students with disabilities
or cultural and linguistic differences.

STEP

3

Spice Up the
PD Schedule
Turnover might wreak havoc on carefully designed PD schedules in which
each session builds upon the previous
one. OST programs, especially, often
conduct repeat sessions for new staffers who are replacing those who left.
One program tackled the problem
by offering repeatable " quick bites " -
30-minute early-morning SEL snacks-
on topics such as problem-solving or
mindfulness. Another developed an
eight-course SEL Academy available
twice a year, while a third focused on
training OST managers who seemed
likely to stay longer.


http://www.NAESP.ORG

Principal - May/June 2021

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