Principal - May/June 2021 - 4

FROM THE

Editor

N A E S P S TA F F
EXECUTIVE DIREC TOR,
N A E S P F O U N DAT I O N PR E S I D E N T

L. Earl Franks, Ed.D., CAE

Social-Emotional
Learning Meets Equity

D I G I TA L CO M M U N I C AT I O N S A S S O C I AT E

The focus on social-emotional learning for students should
be reinforced by SEL and equity training for adults

EDITORIAL ADVISERS

B

IAS. R ACISM. CULTUR AL COMPETENCE.
JUSTICE. While these are terms that every school
community has come to acknowledge, they are not
words typically associated with social-emotional
learning. But if 2020 has taught us anything, it is that the
importance of educational equity knows no bounds.
That's why CASEL-the organization with the bestrecognized definition for SEL-recently updated its language
to include support for educational equity, placing more focus on authentic
partnerships with families and communities, as well as the ongoing examination of
identity, prejudice, bias, and cultural competency. All can contribute to the student
well-being that undergirds the purpose of SEL.

To do this work, principals and teachers need training in SEL that is culturally
competent and advances equity. Why? Because " even well-intentioned adults in
schools-like well-intentioned adults outside of schools-have biases and beliefs
that can harm students' development and overall achievement, " according to
" Social, Emotional, and Academic Development Through an Equity Lens, " a 2020
report by The Education Trust featured in this issue of Principal (see page 16).
The report argues that current approaches to SEL currently aim to " fix " kids but
should instead focus on creating an equitable learning environment. " Teaching
students self-management and self-efficacy will have little impact if school leaders
fail to address an atmosphere that has become toxic due to discrimination or
systemic racism, " the report says.
This issue of Principal also addresses one of the year's most challenging matters: implementing SEL in hybrid and virtual settings. Read " Home Skilled " (page
22) for SEL strategies that work whether you are in person, hybrid, or virtual. You
will need them-regardless of your school's status this year, the summer and fall
will usher in a new set of unknowns that require flexibility.
Look to the accompanying Leading Lessons staff guide to help students in a
post-pandemic world (www.naesp.org/leading-lessons). As an extra bonus
we're pleased to present you with a school safety poster presented in partnership
with Lysol; find it on page 31. And as always, please let me know how you enjoy
this issue of Principal magazine.

-Kaylen Tucker, Ph.D.

@kaylentucker

*

4

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

CO M M U N I C AT I O N S CO O R D I N ATO R

Edwin Colbert
Krysia Gabenski

Neill Alleva, New York
Christopher Bailey, Texas
Julie Bloss, Oklahoma
Todd L. Brist, South Dakota
Edward Cosentino, Maryland
Liz Garden, Massachusetts
Jessica Hutchison, Illinois
Jodi Lemoine, Louisiana
Lyn Marsilio, Virginia
Amy Mason, Alabama
Henry McCain, New Mexico
Kristal Pollard, Mississippi

SEL Is for Adults, Too

Connect
with me on
Twitter

EDITOR-IN-CHIEF

Kaylen Tucker, Ph.D.
ktucker@naesp.org

Bobby Riley, Vermont
Rachel Roberts, Florida
Matt Scott, Alabama
Ryan Sheehy, California
Shanna Spickard, Michigan
Jen Thomas, District of Columbia
Christopher Wooleyhand, Maryland
If you are interested in submitting
an article for possible publication in
Principal, review submission guidelines
at www.naesp.org/writing. Send letters
to the editor or general inquiries to
pubications@naesp.org.

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Copy Editor: Steve Kennedy


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Principal - May/June 2021

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