Home 2021-07-21T08:53:25+00:00

National 2021 SEL Conference Digital Access Pass

Read more about the sessions that are part of the Digital Access Pass.

Explore the power of movement to address equity, engage diverse learners, and deepen family engagement. The most successful social emotional learning programs use active forms of learning to teach students. When it comes to measurable SEL outcomes, evidence suggests that dance outpaces other forms of physical activity as well as other forms of arts learning. What is more, these outcomes are most profound for students of low socioeconomic status and English learners.

Hear about the research behind these claims and engage in activities — music, dance and cultural expression — designed to explore exactly how to use movement to develop all five CASEL SEL competencies. Learn how to share the joy of movement with families to deepen parent-child bonds and walk away with new ideas about the power of movement to engage diverse learners in meaningful social and emotional development.

Margot Toppen, Founder and CEO, EduMotion, Chicago, Illinois

District administrators are accustomed to using achievement data to understand how educators and their students are doing and to make important decisions. Less clear, is whether it is possible to use student social and emotional competence assessment data in similar ways. This session provides an overview of student social and emotional competence assessments and a discussion of their potential uses, as well as describes how administrators can use student social and emotional competence to inform important decisions about what SEL investments to make and whether those investments are paying off.

Clark McKown, President, xSEL Labs, Evanston, Illinois

Historically, the experiences of black girls in school have been centered between black boys and white girls. Because neither of these identities account for the intersectional, raced-gendered perspective of black girls, their experiences have been marginalized in educational settings. There is evidence that black girls are subjected to disparate treatments in the school setting, including hypervisibility, invisibility, adultification, disproportionately harsh disciplinary practices, and academic achievement that lags behind other racial and ethnic groups. These experiences affect their academic achievement and their long-term life outcomes. Learn about the risk factors affecting black girls’ experiences in school settings as well as understand how CASEL’s core competencies can be used to mitigate identified risk factors and facilitate inclusive, safe and supportive educational environments for black girls.

Tawanna Jones Morrison, Founder and Executive Director, we.Reign, Inc., Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Both culturally responsive teaching and trauma-informed pedagogy contain effective teaching strategies focused on the success of the whole child; their impact is amplified when they are positioned as complementary practices in a classroom. Using brain science as the bridge to connect the groundbreaking work of Dr. Bruce Perry, author of “The Boy Who Was Raised as a Dog” and Zaretta Hammond, author of “Culturally Responsive Teaching and the Brain,” we will explore how teachers can weave these philosophies together to achieve the classroom goals that matter to them. We will engage in resource examination, teaching video analysis, small group teaching rehearsals, and practical planning to create the most effective ways for participants in this session to apply the intersection of these practices in their daily classroom work. Participants will leave this session with a clear plan of action — anchored in student-based goals and designed with practices that integrate culturally responsive teaching and trauma-informed pedagogy — to take back to their schools.

Claire Miller, Educator, Conestoga High School, Reading, Pennsylvania

How best do we explore our social and emotional skills? Practice, practice, practice. In this workshop, participants will examine creating a framework of Conversation Gatherings built on foundation pillars of respect, courtesy, inclusiveness and curiosity. Integral to these conversations is the practice of the competencies of social and emotional learning. Participants will learn about research related to the need for more face-to-face communication, components for creating authentic conversations and crucial elements of positive school culture.

Deborah Havert, Founder and Director, EQ Transformations, Lancaster, Pennsylvania

Serving youth in any capacity is the most powerful and influential job an adult can possess. It is the duty of parents, educators, support staff and administrators to educate and cultivate children. We strive to create safe spaces and nurturing environments where all children can thrive, but what happens when emotionally distressed children trigger counter aggression in adults? “The number one reason for the increase in student violence in schools is staff counter aggression. While staff does not initiate student aggression, they react in ways that can perpetuate it” (Long, 1995). We all carry innate counter aggression. Learn how to utilize self-awareness and self-management skills to dismantle your role in the child’s conflict cycle, and determine ways to be intentional in building relationships with children.

April Terrell, Educational Consultant, Authentic U, LLC, Plainfield, New Jersey

When children exhibit challenging behaviors, they are communicating their need for help to manage their emotions and behavior. There are three supports children need during distress and a fourth that helps develop their ability to handle future challenging situations.

Gain a greater understanding of children’s emotional needs. Explore research-based strategies for each of the supports and be equipped with specific skills you can immediately implement in your classroom or program.

Diane Goyette, Owner, Early Childhood Specialties, LLC, Houston, Texas

Every day, caring teachers make connections and build relationships with students in ways that help students become successful learners for life. Explore how implementing a mentoring program that is integrated into all areas of learning, along with an intentional focus on building social emotional skills, can help students be successful not only in class but also in life. Learn about resources, tips and current practices that you can utilize in your daily practices to create a growth mindset culture that helps students develop social emotional skills, engage in their learning, as well as be empowered to take ownership of their learning.

Aiko Malynda Maurer, Director of Innovation, Incubation and Development and CEO of Central Pennsylvania Digital Learning Foundation, Altoona, Pennsylvania

This workshop is intended to provide participants with social and emotional tools to engage in meaningful equity and race conversations for use at their schools. Often race and equity initiatives focus solely on equipping educators with cognitive understandings of equity and race while ignoring the social and emotional competencies that are needed to fruitfully engage in this work. Educators who are working to eradicate racial inequities at their schools through professional learning need to honor and help their learners navigate the difficult emotions that emanate from engaging in this work. We will focus on how to build educators’ self and social awareness competencies when discussing race and equity. Participants will leave with a clear understanding of equity minded social and emotional competencies and practical tools they can apply at their schools using the 6seconds EQ framework.

Maria Akinyele, Professional Learning Coach, Agiri Learning Consultants, New York, New York

Sarah Benis Scheier-Dolberg, Executive Director of Areté Education, Inc., and Director of Sarah BSD, LLC, Bronx, New York

Social emotional learning and social emotional and character development programs have the potential to improve student outcomes such as academic performance and quality of life and decrease risky behaviors. Studies have shown when SEL programs are presented to students and staff without coherent articulation, the impact is likely to be more confusing than conducive (Elias, 2016). Often, disconnected and uncoordinated programs have led to undesirable effects and fragmentation on staff morale, program fatigue and student disengagement. Data suggest that building a school infrastructure that supports SEL is a necessary condition for sustained SEL success. One important first step is to have a “team” in place within the district for SECD. In this workshop, participants will reflect on positive and negative experiences they have had on leadership-related teams, leadership on teams, committees and task forces to derive inductively empirical principles for optimal leadership team functioning. Attendants in this workshop will leave with specific principles to consider when setting up an SECD committee, a checklist to guide structuring committee meetings and key considerations to sustain the functioning of the committee.

Maurice Elias, Professor of Psychology, Rutgers University, Director, Rutgers Social-Emotional and Character Development Lab, Co-Director, Collaborative Center for Community-Based Research and Service, Co-Director, Academy for SEL in Schools, Piscataway, New Jersey

Angela Wang, SECD Lab Project Director, Youth Mental Health and Leadership, Social-Emotional and Character Development Lab, Rutgers University, Piscataway, New Jersey

May Yuan, SECD Lab Project Director, Youth Social-Emotional and Purpose, Rutgers University, Piscataway, New Jersey

What does it mean to have racial literacy? How do you know what your racial literacy strengths and opportunities to grow are? A research study about adults using race themed picture books in their classrooms and a review of literature on this topic has resulted in a comprehensive framework consisting of five racial literacy dimensions — humility, knowledge, communication, beliefs and teaching practices. Discover how you can apply this framework to your own life and work and explore more by using a race themed picture book. Gaining knowledge about the five dimensions and practicing will increase your self-awareness of when racial literacy strengths and challenges occur in either thoughts, language or actions, as well as increase your ability to understand how others may perceive the race-related aspects of your interactions.

Shannon Wanless, Director of Office of Child Development and Associate Professor, University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

Amanda Cross, Evaluation and Research Specialist, Office of Child Development, University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

Caitlin Forbes Spear, Evaluation and Research Division Director, Office of Child Development, University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

Medina Jackson, P.R.I.D.E. Community Engagement Director, Office of Child Development, University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

Aisha White, Positive Racial Identity Development in Early Education Program Director, Office of Child Development, University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

This workshop will explore how a systematic, curricular approach to social emotional learning in every classroom integrates schoolwide with academics, discipline and supports. Participants will consider research that supports integrated SEL by demonstrating improved student and schoolwide outcomes in both academics and behavior. The program, Positive Action, will be used as a model for remediating social and emotional deficits by creating an environment where all students can thrive and reach their full potential, regardless of the economic, social and cognitive barriers the students bring into the classroom. Participants will have the opportunity to discuss the realities students face in their settings and practical strategies they can put to use immediately. In this workshop, participants will form groups for the purpose of preparing and presenting SEL lessons to experience how curricular SEL works at a classroom/group level.

J. Allen, Lead Trainer, Positive Action, Twin Falls, Idaho

Those who work with children are becoming increasingly aware of the pervasive impact of trauma and other negative life experiences on an individual’s social and emotional, behavioral and academic development. Integrating trauma-informed practices into the school day has become a goal for many teachers, schools and districts. However, it is not always clear how trauma-informed practices work together with other school initiatives, including social emotional learning. Our position is that good implementation of SEL should be equivalent to trauma-informed practices. At their best, SEL and trauma-informed practices promote caring relationships, emphasize student social emotional development, and foster inclusive, equitable and empowering school climates. This workshop will provide a primer on trauma-informed practices as connected to the five SEL competencies described by CASEL. We will engage participants in discussions around how trauma affects their daily experiences in schools and informs their SEL-related goals. The objective of this workshop is for participants to recognize the strengths that are emphasized in SEL and trauma-informed practices so they can be inspired to adjust their SEL practices toward a more trauma-informed approach.

Danielle Hatchimonji, Postdoctoral Research Fellow, Nemours Children’s Health System, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Arielle Linsky, Associate Lab Director, Social Emotional and Character Development Lab, Rutgers University, New Brunswick, New Jersey

This interactive session, presented by a husband and wife team of educators, focuses on domains of emotional quotient, along with research-based strategies for increasing personal EQ and using one’s scope of influence to inspire increased EQ in our colleagues and students. The link between positivity and productivity/learning will be explored along with proven methods for increasing personal levels of positivity. Activities for inspiring buy-in of personnel will be modeled. Use your scope of influence to inspire increased EQ in your colleagues and students by learning about the domains of EQ as well as research-based strategies for increasing personal EQ. Explore the link between positivity and productivity/learning along with proven methods for increasing personal levels of positivity. See activities in action for inspiring buy-in of personnel.

Kim Blackwood, Training Specialist, Clayton County Public Schools, Jonesboro, Georgia

Ed Blackwood, Assistant Principal, Clayton County Public Schools, Jonesboro, Georgia

Few things are likely to help schools expand their social emotional focus as purposeful leaders. Shift your beliefs about social emotional learning and learn how to apply key leadership practices to inspire staff.

Learn from two Baltimore principals of high-need schools about strategies, resources and research that will help you create an action plan you can use immediately in your school, as well as share your leadership experiences around creating an SEL school community.

David Turner, Resident Principal, Glenmount Elementary/Middle School, Baltimore, Maryland

Misha Stredrick, Principal, Baltimore City Public Schools, Baltimore, Maryland

Increasingly, schools committed to social emotional development for their students and staff include social emotional assessment as a way to determine social emotional growth. However, this process does not always include students’ feedback. With the right setup and boundaries, students can process their social emotional data and generate goals rooted in that data.

Learn how a student debrief protocol will push staff to develop their social emotional competencies as students drive the feedback process for themselves, their peers and the adults that serve them.

Joshua Bobrow, Deputy Director, Urban Assembly, New York, New York

David Adams, CEO, Urban Assembly, New York, New York

Teach to Lead has engaged more than 7,000 educators from 49 states and the District of Columbia to produce over 400 teacher-led action plans for schools and districts to implement for improvement. Participants will engage in open dialogue on the role of teacher leadership, as well as how teachers can create local, state and national changes for students. Participants will hear from a Teach to Lead team as they discuss their project, which focuses on supporting adult-student relationships via learning and leadership programming to identify and develop black and brown male students to enter the field of education, as well as provide sustained social emotional learning environments to develop the whole child. This workshop will plant the seeds for innovative teacher leadership opportunities in order to continue the movement to grow the number of teacher leaders in our nation’s schools.

Jéri Ogden, Senior Fellow of Educator Engagement, ASCD, Alexandria, Virginia

Daman Harris, Principal, Montgomery County Public Schools, Rockville, Maryland

Daryl Howard, Equity Instructional Specialist, Montgomery County Public Schools, Rockville, Maryland

Thomas Ryan, Assistant Principal, Montgomery County Public Schools, Rockville, Maryland

In the past few years, considerable accumulated evidence of social emotional learning program results have shown effectiveness in reducing aggression, mental health problems and substance use, as well as promoting pro-social behavior and academic achievement. CASEL competencies are the key ingredients or mediators of successful preventive interventions within the mediation analysis framework. Without mediation analyses, it is difficult to specify how a program produces results or why it fails to do so. Explore how to use the theory of change to identify the mediators in the success of an SEL intervention.

Jorge Gaete, Associate Professor, Universidad de los Andes, Santiago, Chile

This video was created and provided by our Champion Sponsor Pure Edge.

Newcomer students, those recently enrolled in a U.S. school, enter our schools with a wealth of knowledge, a desire to learn, to be children and to dream. Often, adults on campus are not aware of the fears and traumas many newcomer students carry with them into the classroom. This workshop will expand participants’ self and social awareness of how immigration policies affect immigrant students and their social emotional development. Participants will learn from the experience of former newcomer students through case studies, exploring their own implicit bias in the process. Additionally, participants will collaborate with other educators and leaders in the field to develop strategies for supporting immigrant students’ academic and social emotional development in the classroom, in community afterschool programs and at home. Our goal is to provide participants with strategies and knowledge for creating learning environments that feel safe, inclusive and academically rigorous for newcomer students.

Mariangely Solis Cervera, Constituency Director, Michelle Wu for Boston Campaign, Boston, Massachusetts

“Who am I?” is a question all adolescents wrestle with. Educators can play a major role in helping young people develop healthy identities. Young people with strong social and emotional learning skills — especially self-reflection, relationship-building and responsible decision-making — are better equipped to create a positive identity for themselves. At the same time, as young people build a positive self-identity, they reinforce their ability to use SEL skills effectively.

In this session, we will review theories of identity development, including the development of gender and racial identity. We will connect those theories to young people’s lived experiences by reading and discussing true stories written by youth in Youth Communication’s intensive writing program. We will examine the factors that help students create a sense of agency (“oneness”) and find a sense of belonging (“sameness”). We will discuss issues and theories surrounding positive identity development in relation to social and emotional learning, including how these important concepts interact.

This session is appropriate for those who work directly with youth and educational administrators. Participants will gain insights and techniques they can use to set up classrooms, schools and afterschool programs that help students develop a sense of self, purpose and goals, relationship skills and connection with others.

Tim Frederick, Senior Director of Education Programs, Youth Communication, New York, New York

Gess LeBlanc, Associate Professor of Developmental and Educational Psychology, Hunter College School of Education, New York, New York

Because our educators are more than holograms programmed to deliver content and our children are more than boxes to fill with information, we are challenged with navigating the complex emotional landscape of the dynamic brain. In the future, teachers will no longer be the primary source for delivering academic content. However, they will always remain a vital medium for teaching, modeling and supporting what makes us most human: kindness, compassion, joy, resilience, motivation, relationships, decision making. In this workshop, we will share ground-breaking methodologies for quantifying, tracking and teaching social emotional learning metrics based on the personalized needs of both educators and students. Science is a powerful currency in our modern culture; by using scientific methods, we can utilize a set of persistent measurements, assessing the cognitive and emotional needs of classrooms, schools and individuals. Recognizing and understanding the emotional style and evolving needs of our teachers and students is crucial not only to school success, but also to lifelong achievement. This interactive and engaging presentation is designed to inspire with possibilities, challenge the status quo, and imagine the future of teaching and learning. We will share our work, our vision and our hope for the future. We will present and demonstrate emergent tools intended to scientifically and persistently measure and interject SEL competencies in a precise, personalized and timely fashion. Technology, SEL and physical movement will all join forces to demonstrate dynamically new possibilities.

Debbie Leonard, Consultant, BrainZones, Akron, Ohio

Marcey Aronson, Consultant, BrainZones, Akron, Ohio

Marlon Wayne, Consultant, BrainZones, Akron, Ohio

Race, religion, gender roles, gender identity and expression, community and family all play a part in establishing labels that are often difficult to peel away. Peel back labels you placed on yourself or that have been placed on you by examining your relationship skills, self-advocacy and decision-making, which will reveal actionable steps to stimulate and promote social awareness.

Shane Jenson, Music Specialist, Music and Dance Education, Baltimore County Public Schools, Towson, Maryland

Amalio Nieves, Executive Director, Social Emotional Programs, Baltimore County Public Schools, Towson, Maryland

Abeer Shinnawi, Resource Teacher, Social Studies Education, Baltimore County Public Schools, Towson, Maryland

Mindfulness is the ability to pay attention, deliberately, non-judgmentally, in the present moment. It is a powerful practice that supports students in self-regulating their emotions, focusing their attention, and interacting effectively with others; all are critical skills for success in school and life. Incorporating mindfulness and mindful practices into education has been linked to improving academic, social and emotional learning.

Hear about the widespread growth of mindfulness, the neuroscience supporting its use, its impact on social and emotional development, and a variety of practical and useful strategies to use in your classroom. Learn and experience the significant benefits of mindfulness.

Joseph Diskin, Principal, Bridgewater Raritan Regional School District, Mountainside, New Jersey

Joseph Walsh, Principal, Bridgewater Raritan Regional School District, Flemington, New Jersey

Forgiveness education in social emotional learning is used to teach students to express their emotions in a healthy way, to understand the perspective of others, and to increase empathy and compassion. Hear about research evidence of forgiveness education programs administered in different cultural settings, as well as the use of forgiveness curriculum and suggestions of curriculum implementation.

Jiahe Wang Xu, Ph.D. Student, University of Wisconsin, Madison, Wisconsin

Polarization. Misunderstandings. Conflict. Our schools and communities are facing these divisive forces. We envision a world that collaboratively solves society’s social ills. Students Taking Action Together is an initiative started by Maurice Elias’s Social-Emotional and Character Development Lab at Rutgers University, to address these pressing issues. STAT includes a set of evidence-informed teaching strategies that can be integrated seamlessly into classrooms and support social emotional skills, character, caring classroom climate and civic engagement. Explore the teaching strategies and leave prepared to integrate these strategies into your classroom the next day.

Samuel Nayman, STAT Project Director, Rutgers University, Tenafly, New Jersey

Crystal Molyneaux, SECD Lab Grants Coordinator/STAT Consultant, Rutgers University, Woodbridge, New Jersey

Happy students are more creative, collaborative and productive. They are also more resilient and have richer lives. The number one predictor of well-being is having supportive relationships.
Explore the importance of your own well-being and learn self-regulation and mindset tools to help you face the daily challenges of being an educator. Learn about practical activities that integrate positive psychology, mindfulness and emotional intelligence strategies into your pedagogy and see how these strategies prime our students’ brains to be more ready to learn as well as lead to supportive and caring relationships in the classroom.

Roni Habib, Founder, EQ Schools, Santa Cruz, California

Thinking on your feet is part of teaching, but how do you stay calm in the face of defiance or explosive situations? Our brains are designed to protect, so lashing out is instinctive. We know that an increased focus on emotional literacy and social engagement leads to greater classroom success. Unfortunately, we lack both strategies and teacher training to take full advantage of this knowledge. Because students are not boxes to be filled and teachers are not simple content-delivery devices, we are challenged with navigating the complex emotional landscape of the dynamic, and sometimes the fast-reacting brain. Recognizing and understanding the emotional style and evolving needs of teachers and students is crucial not only to school success but also to lifelong achievement. Shift happens, to all of us. The goal is not to become an emotional blob, but rather to become more aware, more connected, more insightful and more purposeful.

Think-time strategies are designed specifically for allowing educators to respond wisely rather than reacting rashly when under stress or pressure. Science is a powerful currency in our modern culture. By coupling empirical research from neuroscience and education, we can utilize proven practices and strategies to improve the dynamic needs of educators and students, and making classrooms warm and nurturing environments. You will leave this session knowing that, when shift happens, you are prepared.

Debbie Leonard, Consultant, BrainZones, Akron, Ohio

Marcey Aronson, Consultant, BrainZones, Akron, Ohio

Marlon Wayne, Consultant, BrainZones, Akron, Ohio

Self-awareness is a set of intrapersonal, social and emotional skills that aid educators in understanding and articulating their values and beliefs, improving their self-confidence and self-efficacy and enabling them to foster better relationships with students and peers. Research shows that self-awareness is the essential skill needed for success in all areas of life. It is important to create and sustain opportunities for educators to cultivate their own self-awareness prior to and alongside teaching social emotional skills to students. Learn about strategies, approaches and activities that you can use to further develop your self-awareness skills.

Penny Willis, Training and Program Development Lions Quest, Lions Clubs International Foundation, Oak Brook, Illinois

Susan Keister, Founder, SELutions, Inc., Columbus, Ohio

Parents are the primary teachers for children’s social and emotional development and yet have little, if any, support or tools to learn how to manage this complicated lifelong role. The field of SEL has developed many school-based frameworks and practices, and there are ways to leverage this knowledge to optimize parenting and child development. This workshop will offer opportunities for participants to use research-based vignettes to examine the links between the five SEL competencies and parenting. These links are based on a framework developed by Miller, Wanless, and Weissberg (2018) that considers parents’ SEL competencies, how they surface in parenting practices, their influence on the overall family climate, and ultimately in child SEL competencies. All of these aspects of family life have an impact on each other and vary across family culture. Using these vignettes as source material, participants will grapple with the way that family SEL can be supported with evidence-based practices and cultural humility.

Shannon Wanless, Director, Office of Child Development, Associate Professor, University of Pittsburg, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

Jennifer Miller, Parenting with SEL Expert and Consultant, Confident Parents, Confident Kids, Columbus, Ohio

For students to be well adjusted and happy, they need well adjusted, mindful teachers and leaders who foster climates in which students can learn, dream, create and be themselves. Unfortunately, many educators have excessive levels of stress in their lives, and it often affects their health and personal and professional lives. To manage a classroom or school effectively, teachers and leaders first must be able to manage themselves.

Hear about cutting-edge research in neuroscience that is focused on training the mind and promoting habits and strategies needed to maintain personal practices that cultivate healthy social and emotional skills, which foster healthy learning environments. Explore a variety of practices to regulate your own thoughts, feelings and emotions so you have the emotional capacity to support your students. Discover how to train the mind and establish healthy habits and simple self-care strategies that you can easily incorporate into everyday life.

Lisa Lucas, Professor, West Chester University, West Chester, Pennsylvania

Lisa Greenawalt, Director of Curriculum and Instruction, Lehigh Career and Technical Institute, Schnecksville, Pennsylvania

In this workshop, we will explore why fostering supportive and caring relationships rooted in emotional intelligence within our school is paramount for staff and students’ well-being, but also for meaningful discourse about equity to take place. Participants will be introduced to concepts from interpersonal neurobiology and simple improve games that can facilitate deeper relationships in their school so students can flourish and staff can thrive, together.

Roni Habib, Founder, EQ Schools, Santa Cruz, California