Brain Science as a Bridge: Connecting Trauma Informed Practices and Culturally Responsive Teaching to Achieve More with Students
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, Pa.
Bridging Social Emotional Learning and Racial Equity Paradigms: Processes that Promote Equitable Organizational Practices and Structures
To address adequately the social emotional development and learning of young people, we must bring together literature and practice from racial equity and social emotional learning discourses (Aspen Institute, 2018). Adults in educational institutions that do not have strong social emotional competencies typically find racial equity work daunting or irrelevant, and tend to espouse ideologies centered in colorblindness, implicit bias and deficit-thinking (Fergus, 2017). If we want to build the social emotional skills of our young people, and create equitable educational institutions, we must first work with adults to develop the social emotional skills and racial analysis needed to engage in discourse and action. There is also increasing consensus that in order to engage in “difficult and uncomfortable” conversations around how systemic racism erodes opportunities for people of all racial backgrounds to experience positive developmental outcomes, we first require the right tools to build authentic relationships that can support this work. This workshop will engage participants in replicable process activities that help school communities unpack and address conditions of racism. Activities include restorative conversations as a practice for listening deeply to invite authentic relationship and understanding; utilizing technology to reflect on perspectives and experiences related to racial equity; exploring intersectional affinity groups to deepen reflective conversation; and exploring how to disseminate these processes along with concrete outputs (e.g., belief statements, revised organizational materials) to inform internal (agency) and external (community partners) practices. Activities are designed to ignite discourse focused on problem identification and solution seeking.
Stacey Alicea, Associate Executive Director, and Yaniyah Pearson, Director, Restorative Practices and Equity Initiatives, Ramapo for Children, New York, N.Y.
Change Your Brain, Change Your Conversations: Developing Emotional Intelligence through Neuro-Gamification
Come learn how the integration of neuroscience and game dynamics can train the brain to create more meaningful relationships. Emotional intelligence is at the core of social and emotional learning and EQ is caught not taught. It makes sense for teachers, administrators, and parents to change their brain so they can change the conversations they are having. Awareness of personal emotions and the emotions of the people around you will develop resilience, empathy and elevate behavior.
Throughout this workshop, presenters will discuss the importance of increasing emotional vocabulary, asking permission before sharing emotions, and practicing open questions. Participants will gain knowledge and techniques on how to express feelings and thoughts more accurately and develop a new level of self-awareness.
Deana Hsu, Appreciative Inquiry Consultant and High Performance Coach, Deana Hsu Consulting, San Jose, Calif.
How SEL and English Learners Make the Perfect Pair
This session will explore a case study from the spring of 2019 at Palm Springs Unified School District and how using CASEL-aligned social emotional learning activities combined with mentorship is an effective way to engage middle school English learners. We will also learn by doing the very same activities the students did. The session includes time for action planning so participants leave with a plan in hand.
Julia Gabor, Founder, and Jennifer Carroll, Ambassador, kid-grit, Redondo Beach, Calif.
Newcomer Students and SEL: Building Safe and Inclusive Classrooms
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 impact immigrant students and affect 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, Manager of Partnerships, Transforming Education, Boston, Mass.
Oneness and Sameness: The Intersection of Adolescent Identity Development and SEL
“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 experience 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. The youth-written stories read during the session will serve as case studies and as guides for how educators can continuously improve positive youth identity formation by creating supportive classrooms and schools. 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 Fredrick, Senior Director of Education Programs, Youth Communication, New York, N.Y., and Gess LeBlanc, Associate Professor of Developmental and Educational Psychology, Hunter College School of Education, New York, N.Y.
SEL and Equity: Building Educator SEL Skills to Create Equity and Belonging for All Students
A child will walk into a room and survey their learning environment to assess: “Do I BELONG here? Will my identity and my efforts be SEEN? Will my voice be HEARD? Will my contributions be NOTICED and APPRECIATED?” The sense of safety and belonging that students have in a classroom or school may be directly related to how they perceive bias and stereotypes about aspects of their identities from others, including from their teachers, administrators and support staff. Educators must be aware of the impact that negative unconscious biases and stereotypes have on their work with students and each other. Unless we consistently acknowledge, reflect on, and reject our own bias, prejudice, and stereotypes, we will continue to create and maintain systemic and structural inequalities. In this workshop, participants will practice self- and social awareness as they gain an understanding of how biases and stereotypes impact their own identities as well as the students with whom they work. Educators will learn about Anti-Bias Education (ABE) as a tool to create belonging and equity for children with marginalized identities and to apply all the SEL competencies to their work with children. Participants will also learn and practice de-biasing techniques.
Rebecca Slaby, Executive Director, and Melissa Andersen, Director of Curriculum and Instruction, AMAZEworks, Saint Paul, Minn.
So Your District Adopted SEL, Now What?
More states are adopting SEL standards and school districts are looking to SEL as a means for school improvement. Leaders need an action plan for implementing SEL to inspire confidence, overcome resistance and design SEL that results in students’ academic gains, improved classroom behavior and increased ability to manage stress and attitudes about themselves. In this session, participants will learn to recognize data already available in their district to shape a comprehensive approach to social emotional learning; outline an implementation plan; and be empowered to lead the implementation of district-wide SEL goals at all levels from district policy to teacher-student relationships. When districts do not know what proficient SEL looks like or where to begin the implementation, it falls to already overloaded administrators and teachers. Presenters will share strategies to avoid these pitfalls and establish a process to provide the structure necessary to go from ideas to implementation.
Carla Tantillo Philibert, Founder, Mindful Practices, Oak Park, Ill.
Teaching Students to Think Strategically Through Perception, Visualization and Self-Talk
Many students easily apply the cognitive skills necessary to be successful academically, behaviorally and social-emotionally. However, children who struggle with learning need to be taught explicitly how to acquire access and apply information with confidence. When students are unable to engage in strategic learning, they risk believing that assignments and situations are too challenging to attempt or to overcome. Their perception can influence their belief system to the degree that it becomes their reality and delays their progress. Students’ performance and self-concept benefit from identifying that they can manage their own perceptions; improve their academic, behavioral and social-emotional skills by learning to use visualization as a strategy to prepare for successful outcomes; and pair perception and visualization with positive self-talk. Participants will learn to identify, model and teach the cognitive skills of managing one’s own perception, which includes developing visualization skills and self-talk as strategic interventions to overcome challenging tasks and situations. When used by students, these skills become life-long strategies that can be applied in college and throughout adulthood.
Lisa Navarra, President and Founder, Child Behavior Consulting, LLC, Nesconset, N.Y.
Three Steps to Infuse SEL into Academic Lessons
Most educators today agree that social and emotional competencies are important. They may even be explicitly teaching these skills in the classroom through a social emotional learning (SEL) program. But just as we wouldn’t expect a child to learn to read fluently with only 30 minutes of explicit reading instruction once a week, we can’t expect SEL competencies to flourish unless they are reinforced each day regardless of the academic subject being taught. In this interactive workshop, participants will learn practical steps to embed SEL into any academic lesson. From kindergarten to AP Geometry, social emotional competencies can be effectively integrated! Be prepared to learn new techniques that enhance existing lessons and truly support the development of SEL skills.
Lorea Martinez, SEL Consultant, Lorea Martinez, SEL Consulting, San Carlos, Calif.
YOU are the Curriculum: A Model for Building Adult’s Social-Emotional Competencies in the Classroom
This experiential workshop introduces an evidence-informed model that develops adult’s social emotional competencies in order to create environments where all students can engage in learning. Starting with an understanding that behavior is a form of communication, participants will identify structures, routines and practices for modeling social emotional competencies; and create structured opportunities for students to practice these skills, self-reflect and learn from mistakes. Participants will leave with an organized toolbox of strategies and a common language for preventing, understanding and responding to challenging behaviors through role modelling; building relationships; clarifying expectations, structures and routines; adapting for individual needs; reflecting and reintegrating after conflict occurs.
Hannah Miller, Director of Content Development and Expansion, Ramapo for Children, New York, N.Y.
Conversation Gatherings to Promote Social and Emotional Learning
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 a positive school culture.
Deborah Havert, Founder and Director, EQ Transformations, Lancaster, Pa.
Developing a Social Emotional Learning Culture and Climate: How to Infuse SEL Skills into Curriculum
This workshop will explore the why and how of integrating SEL skills into school content, climate and culture. Many of us agree that SEL skills are important for our students’ success. Many well-intentioned schools adopt very good SEL programs but may not see the results they were hoping. In other instances, schools adopt a program under one administrator but when that administrator leaves so does the program. In this workshop we will explore how to weave skills and strategies into our content as well as our individual practice. We will begin by intentionally looking at different programs and activities that are going on within in a school or classroom. We will identify our strengths, challenges, and core values, like respect and responsibility. We will then begin to identify what skills we would need to operationalize our vision of success. By using the four approaches for developing SEL as designated by CASEL, we will develop a plan that would encompass the idea of direct instruction of key skills, intentional integration into content, developing our individual SEL practice and approaches, and ways to incorporate parents and community into the process.
Erin Bruno, Coordinator, Social Decision Making, Piscataway, N.J.
EQ Leadership for SEL Implementation: Change, Safety and Inclusion
Imagine a safe, inclusive learning environment where EVERY person is supported to grow, where differences are cherished, and people yearn to come learn and work. Now imagine the self-awareness and relationship skills, the leadership capabilities that would foster and support such a place: Which of those are already core to your leadership, and which of those are your growing edges? Join this immersive, collaborative experience for growing and practicing emotional intelligence and as a process for leadership. Drawing on our EQ for Leadership program at Columbia Teachers College Principals’ Academy, we’ll share tools, frameworks and processes for your own EQ growth that support you in effective, systemic SEL implementation. Designed for educational leaders, this workshop will focus on one of the toughest leadership challenges: in an often-polarized social context where we’re entering with a range of biases and assumptions, often built on deeply embedded cultural norms, how do we bring people into alignment toward a shared purpose. Emotions, though sometimes thorny and messy, are also a common human language and may be just the resource we need.
Lorea Martinez, SEL Consultant, Lorea Martinez, SEL Consulting, San Carlos, Calif., and Joshua Freedman, CEO, Six Seconds, Watsonville, Calif.
Gender Inclusivity: Creating Safe, Supportive, All-Gender Inclusive Environments
Gender identity develops in early childhood. How do we talk to children about gender identity and expression? How can we better support and create safety and belonging for gender-expansive and transgender students? This workshop will include research on gender identity, implicit bias and stereotype threat. We will share how to use literature, persona dolls, videos and sharing of stories to create more all-gender inclusive classrooms and communities for students of all ages. The workshop will include a primer on pronouns and provide many examples of how to use inclusive language with children and adults. We will also apply CASEL’s five SEL competencies and AMAZEworks Anti-Bias Education framework to understand how to foster healthy identity development for gender expansive students (self-awareness and self-management), respect across and appreciation for gender differences (social awareness), rejection of gender bias, prejudices, and stereotypes (social awareness, responsible decision-making), and resiliency skills in the face of mistreatment and bias-based behavior (responsible decision making, relationship skills).
Robin Starch, Director of Education, and Ryan Kersey, Program Coordinator, AMAZEworks, Saint Paul, Minn.
How to Build Educators’ SEL Awareness When Engaging in Race and Equity Work within Schools
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, N.Y.
Mediating Factors and Prevention of Mental Health Problems: How SEL Programs Work
In the past few years, considerable accumulated evidence of SEL 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
Mix it Up: Resources and Strategies for Blended SEL and Career Readiness Instruction
Blended learning is ideal for youth to build a foundation of skills for social and economic success; in fact, a recent meta-analysis by the U.S. Department of Education shows it to be more effective than either all in-person or all online learning. How can educators and programs find free, high quality SEL and career readiness resources to incorporate in their class and training rooms? What are the best practices for navigating technology in the classroom and facilitating equitable access for all genders in low bandwidth environments? The International Youth Foundation will share free digital tools for education and employability that you can incorporate into your programs today, along with their evidence and best practices for blended learning.
Karen Phillips, Director, Curriculum and Training, and Geena Stith, Curriculum Development and Training Specialist, International Youth Foundation, Baltimore, Md.
One Size Does Not Fit All: Helping Educators and Students Find Beneficial Practices Given Who They Are When They Show Up
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 SEL 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 to not only 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 dynamically demonstrate new possibilities.
Marcey Aronson, Debbie Leonard, and Marlon Wayne, Consultants, BrainZones, Akron, Ohio
Social and Emotional Learning: How to Create Safe and Caring Learning Environments in the Classroom
This interactive workshop will discuss the critical role of SEL in creating safe and caring learning environments in the classroom. SEL teaches students and educators the emotional intelligence competencies they need to be more self aware, make good decisions, develop empathy, appreciate diverse perspectives and improve the quality of their relationships. Participants will learn the importance of SEL focused, comprehensive programs that involve all school stakeholders, including administrators, teachers, students and parents. The speaker will share her experience implementing SEL programs in schools across the country and give concrete research based strategies for successful program implementation.
Lauren Hyman Kaplan, Social-Emotional Learning Specialist, Rutgers University and CPSEL Consultant, Montclair, N.J.
Teaching Students to Overcome Adversity and Manage Stress through Bottom-Up Brain Regulation – A Trauma Informed Approach
It is important to empower students with information and understanding about adversity and stress along with strategies and interventions for brain regulation and healing. When information about the impact of trauma is shared with students without first establishing a solid foundation for hope and change, it can do more harm than good. In this workshop, we will share guidelines and ideas for teaching students key trauma-informed principles and strategies to help overcome adversity and manage stress including physical, emotional and social regulation strategies. In this workshop, we will cover principles and strategies that can be taught individually, through a group curriculum and/or through program norms and expectations. Feedback and lessons learned from students will be included.
Kathy Van Horn, Executive Vice President, Lakeside, North Wales, Pa.
Using a New Framework for Bringing Together Social Emotional Learning and Parenting
Parents are the primary teachers for children’s social and emotional development and yet have little, if any, support or tools to learn about 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, Associate Professor, University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, Pa., and Jennifer Smith, Parenting Expert and Consultant, Confident Parents, Confident Kids, Columbus, Ohio
Using the Humanities to Build Positive Identities for Youth
The humanities are the study and exploration of how individuals document and process the human experience. What, then, can they teach young people about themselves and the world around them? Using examples from Pennsylvania’s youth program, Teen Reading Lounge, frontline youth workers will discuss how they used the humanities to provide opportunities for youth to build more positive narratives about themselves and explore social issues that impact their everyday lives. In addition to talking about their experiences and providing real world applications for using the humanities with urban, suburban and rural communities, presenters will also address the absence of humanities learning in some communities and how afterschool programs can be a safe, inclusive space where young people are invited to celebrate their identities and address topics impacting their own communities.
Jennifer Danifo, Senior Program Officer, Pennsylvania Humanities Council, Philadelphia, Pa., Valerie Adams-Bass, Assistant Professor of Education, University of Virginia Curry School of Education and Human Development, Charlottesville, Va., Aurora Sanchez, Healthy Communities Coordinator, Free Library of Philadelphia, Pa., and Jacki Clark, Youth Services Coordinator, Muhlenberg Community Library, Reading, Pa.
An Administrator’s Guide to Integrating Social and Emotional Assessment Data with Achievement Data
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 workshop provides an overview of student social and emotional competence assessments and a discussion of their potential uses. The workshop 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 and Founder, xSEL Labs, Evanston, Ill.
Self-awareness and the importance of knowing how to consciously maintain a successful work-life balance is of utmost importance in today’s demanding world. We all need a reawakening of our senses and the powerful concepts from nature and art can help with that. By answering 50 specific questions, you will create an art piece that depicts personal attitudes, interests and inner feelings.
The relationship between mindfulness and our inner self-knowledge will define relevance in how to reach out effectively to young and old. By linking written words to things like images, shapes, colors, you will create an art piece that can be useful in communicating and teaching all ages.
You will be given the opportunity to show and talk about your art pieces.
Ariadne Gejevski, Artist Teacher Muralist, Stresslessart, Berkeley Springs, W.Va.
The Art of Knowing Yourself: Building Self Awareness for School Leadership
Effective leadership is amplified by accurate self knowledge. This workshop is a simulated SEL lesson incorporating humor, choice and multimedia. Participants will engage in interactive activities to discover the secrets of combating self misperception, as well as understand how to garner useful feedback from others. Attendees will learn how mistakes and errors can be turned into talents and gifts that lead to success. Members of the group will discover techniques for defeating the “cult of self.” These skills will contribute to becoming an inspiring and motivating administrator. The ancient art of kintsugi is the metaphor for illustrating this transformation.
Anabel Jensen, Professor Emeritus, Notre Dame de Namur University, San Mateo, Calif.
How to Set Up a Social Emotional Learning and Social Emotional and Character Development or Related Committee in our School or District
Social Emotional Learning and Social Emotional and Character Development (SECD) programs have the potential to improve student outcomes such as academic performance, quality of life and decreasing 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 lead 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 inductively derive 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 at Rutgers University, Director at Rutgers Social-Emotional and Character Development Lab, Co-Director at Collaborative Center for Community-Based Research and Service, Co-Director at Academy for SEL in Schools, Rutgers University and Academy for SEL in Schools, Piscataway, N.J. and Angela Wang, SECD Lab Project Director, Youth Mental Health and Leadership, and May Yuan, SECD Lab Project Director, Youth Social-Emotional and Purpose Development, Social-Emotional and Character Development Lab, Rutgers University, Piscataway, N.J.
I Just Grew a Neuron! Neuroscience, Growth Mindset and SEL for Our Youngest Learners and Their Teachers Today, Builds Our Equitable Tomorrow
Promoting, teaching, fostering and applying growth mindset, SEL and mindfulness principles and practices across pre-K-3 builds a more equitable future. When we introduce and teach young learners about their brains, how they work and how they transform as a result of their energy and effort, we are growing their power and potential. We are teaching them neuroscience, equity and asset-based views of intelligence, skills, abilities and talents. In this workshop, we will explore how growth mindset and SEL translate into practice across pre-K-3 learning environments and its impact on young learners, pre-K-3 care and education professionals.
Kendra Coates, Author, Educator, Consultant, Professional Coach, UP by Design, Mindset Works, Bend, Ore.
Implementing Schoolwide SEL for Improved Academics and Behavior
This workshop will explore how a systematic, curricular approach to SEL in every classroom integrates with academics, discipline and supports schoolwide. 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
Integrating Trauma-Informed Practices with Social Emotional Learning
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 impacts 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, Wilmington, Del., and Arielle Linsky, Associate Lab Director, Social-Emotional and Character Development Lab, Rutgers University, Piscataway, N.J.
Leading Forward: Building Social Emotional and Cultural Competencies of Transformational School Leaders to Create, Sustain and Lead Safe, Supportive and Inclusive Schools for all Students
This workshop is designed to support the professional learning and growth of school leaders at the school and district level, in relation to the ten Professional Standards for Educational Leaders standards. This workshop will bring together the tenets of social and emotional competencies and culturally responsive leadership to create and sustain culturally responsive schools with learning spaces where students and teachers feel safe, valued and supported.
Saroja Warner, Senior State Technical Assistance Director, and Erin Browder, Consultant, West Ed, Washington, D.C.
Leveraging Teacher Leadership to Enact SEL Change
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, candid dialogue on the role of teacher leadership and how teachers can create local, state and national changes for students. Participants will also 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 SEL 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, Educator Engagement, ASCD, Alexandria, Va., Thomas Ryan, Assistant Principal, New Hampshire Estates Elementary School, Daryl Howard, Equity Instructional Specialist, and Daman Harris, Principal, Wheaton Woods Elementary School, Montgomery County Public Schools, Rockville, Md.
Peeling Back the Labels: Uncovering What’s Hidden and Cultivating Inclusive Conversations
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 Jensen, Music Specialist, Office of Music and Dance Education, Amalio Nieves, Executive Director, Social Emotional Support, and Abeer Shinnawi, Resource Teacher, Office of Social Studies, Baltimore County Public Schools, Townson, Md.
Working with Students as Resources to Enhance Social Emotional Learning in a School Setting
Students from Westbrook High School, Connecticut, will share their training through National School Climate Center and how they have developed avenues to enhance SEL through “Working with Students as Resources,” rather than objects or recipients in a school setting. This presentation incorporates segments of School Climate teacher training offered through the Connecticut State Department of Education with a focus from students’ perspectives. Participants will become familiar with recent studies of Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACES) and how student-peer-based interventions can promote SEL on a broader basis at this level. Westbrook is the first high school in the country to adopt the National School Climate Standards and is a pioneer in promoting engagement through the training of students, faculty and staff. This workshop will give ideas, share experiences and allow for participation in a variety of related activities. The seminar is given regularly to professionals in a variety of situations, and participants will leave not only with creative ideas for the school setting, but with a greater understanding from the students’ perspective of how SEL impacts the classroom and the school district at large.
Chet Bialicki, Student School Climate Coordinator, and Student Facilitators, Westbrook High School, Westbrook, Conn.
You Can’t Spell Equity without Emotional Intelligence
In this workshop, we will explore why fostering supportive and caring relationships rooted in emotional intelligence within our school is paramount not only for staff and students’ well-being, but also for a meaningful discourse about equity to take place. Participants will be introduced to concepts from interpersonal neurobiology and simple improv 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, Calif.
Adapting Theatre Education for Students with Trauma
Inspired by the groundbreaking CARE – Compassionate Arts Remaking Education Project – partnership between Cleveland Play House, Cleveland Metropolitan School District and the U.S. Department of Education, you will be able to explore the process of how to develop and use theatre skills, SEL curriculum and trauma-informed pedagogy to help serve educational institutions and communities.
Learn how classroom scholars can use theatre games and techniques to help recognize and manage their emotions, develop caring and concern for others, establish positive relationships, make responsible decisions, and handle challenging situations constructively and ethically. This theatrical SEL journey will offer a hand on exploration of the theatrical curriculum resources, techniques, data and games used to launch and sustain the CARE project.
Thomas Kazmierczak, CARE Project Director, Pamela DiPasquale, Director Of Education, Colleen Jackson, CARE Project Associate Director, and Cassey Fye, CARE Coordinator, Cleveland Play House, Cleveland, Ohio
Black and Girl: From Risk to Resilience
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 education environments for Black girls.
Tawanna Jones Morrison, Founder and Executive Director, we.REIGN, Inc, Philadelphia, Pa.
A Cross-Age Peer Group Mentoring Approach to Developing SEL Competencies
Explore best practices in designing, implementing and sustaining a cross-age peer group-mentoring model as a school-based strategy for developing social and emotional learning (SEL) competencies among youth. When using this model, older students are trained to become effective mentors and role models for younger peers. They provide support to the younger students as they transition from elementary to middle school or middle to high school. Peer mentors create a safe, supportive and nurturing environment for incoming students, allowing students to learn and practice SEL skills to support their social and academic success in school and beyond.
Hear from local students and educators involved in the implementation of this peer leadership and high school transition program known as Peer Group Connection as they talk about common challenges and creative solutions associated with establishing an effective cross-age peer-mentoring program in a middle or high school. Learn about evidence-based practices for effective peer-to-peer mentoring and the preliminary findings and lessons learned from a U.S. Department of Education-funded rigorous evaluation of this peer-led approach to SEL. The findings will show that this model can improve school engagement while simultaneously decreasing discipline and suspension incidents.
Sherry Barr, Managing Director, Operations and Evaluation, Center for Supportive Schools, Princeton, N.J., and Beshon Smith, Executive Director, Delaware, Maryland and Washington, D.C.
Don’t Take it Personal: Combating the Impact of Youth Emotional Distress in the Adults who Serve Them
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 do 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, Academic Solutions, LLC, Plainfield, N.J.
Helping Students Achieve Success through Mentoring with an Intentional Focus on Developing Social Emotional Skills
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, and be empowered to take ownership of their learning.
Aiko Malynda Maurer, Director of Innovation, Incubation and Development and CEO Central Pennsylvania Digital Learning Foundation, Appalachia Intermediate Unit, Altoona, Pa.
Identifying Your Own Racial Literacy Strengths and Opportunities to Grow
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 B. Wanless, Director and Associate Professor, Aisha White, Positive Racial Identity Development in Early Education Program Director, Caitlin Forbes Spaar, Evaluation and Research Division Director, Amanda Cross, Evaluation and Research Specialist, and Medina Jackson, Positive Racial Identity Development in Early Education Community Engagement Director, Office of Child Development, University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, Pa.
The Importance of Educator Self-Awareness in Social Emotional Learning
As educators our focus is quite often on engaging our students, not only academically, but also in the area of social and emotional learning. We know that in order for our students to reach academic goals and milestones, they need to master the skills associated with core social-emotional competencies. Formerly considered “soft” skills, we now realize that they are, in fact, necessary life skills. However, what is often overlooked when we consider SEL and its various core competencies is our own ability as educators to master those same competencies. Before we can even begin SEL implementation with students, it is essential to ensure we have an accurate self-perception. When implementation begins with our own self-awareness, we are in a better position to assist out students.
How often as educator are we cognizant of our tendencies in speech, actions, beliefs, perceptions, thoughts, assumptions, motivation, strategies and emotions? How comfortable are we with the various cultural, social and sexual identities? How do we examine our own biases?
Understand and explore the pivotal role your own self-awareness – what it is and why it is important in your work – and emotional intelligence plays in successfully implementing and modeling SEL strategies in your classroom and school, and how to become more self-aware as an educator.
Tanya Fleeting, Project AWARE Coordinator, Windham Public Schools, Willimantic, Conn.
It Starts with ME! – Creating a Culture of Emotional Intelligence
Use your scope of influence to inspire increased emotional intelligence (EQ) in your colleagues and students by learning about the domains of emotional intelligence (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, Atlanta, Ga., and Ed Blackwood, Assistant Principal, Kendrick Middle School, Clayton County Public Schools, Jonesboro, Ga.
Regulating the Brain to Allow SEL Practices to Thrive: A Trauma-Informed Approach
How does the brain develop? How can trauma and neglect at early ages cause significant learning and behavior difficulties and even impact a student’s social and emotional skills?
Knowing the problem is good; however, knowing the solution is better. The brain has the amazing ability to adapt throughout life. Discover and practice practical interventions that can be implemented to regulate the brain, promote positive brain growth and ultimately improve academic performance and social interactions.
Joshua MacNeill, Director, NeuroLogic Initiative, Lakeside, North Wales, Pa,
Social Emotional Learning about Forgiveness Using Children’s Literature
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, Madison, Wis.
Students Taking Action Together: Simple Strategies to Teach Social-Emotional Skills, Character and Civic Engagement
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 (STAT) is an initiative started by Maurice Elias’s Social-Emotional and Character Development (SECD) Lab at Rutgers University, to address these pressing issues. STAT includes a set of evidence-informed teaching strategies that can be seamlessly integrated into classrooms and that 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, N.J., and Crystal Molyneaux, SECD Lab Grants Coordinator, Rutgers University, Woodbridge, N.J.
To Thine Own Self Be True: Educator Self-Awareness for Professional Success in the Classroom and Beyond
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 and 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, Ill.
Active SEL: The Power of Movement to Address Equity and Engage Your Community
Explore the power of movement to address equity, engage diverse learners, and deepen family engagement. The most successful social and 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 socio-economic status and for 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, Ill.
Four C’s for Supporting Children’s Self-Regulation
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
Leadership Matters: Developing an SEL School Community without Fear
Few things are likely to help schools expand their social emotional focus as a purposeful leader. 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, Principal, Baltimore Junior Academy, Baltimore, Md., and Misha Stredrick, Principal, Baltimore City Public Schools, Baltimore, Md.
Leading with Student Voice: How Students Can Drive the Response to SEL Assessment
Increasingly, schools committed to SEL development for their students and staff include SEL assessment as a way to determine SEL growth. However, this process does not always include students’ feedback. With the right setup and boundaries, students can process their SEL data and generate goals rooted in that data.
Learn how a student debrief protocol will push staff to develop their SEL competencies as students drive the feedback process for themselves, their peers, and the adults that serve them.
Joshua Bobrow, Social-Emotional Learning Program Manager, and David Adams, Director of Social-Emotional Learning, Urban Assembly, New York, N.Y.
The Present Moment: Mindful Practices for Social Emotional Learning
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, Eisenhower Intermediate School, Bridgewater-Raritan Regional School District, Bridgewater, N.J., and Joseph Walsh, Principal, John F. Kennedy Primary School, Bridgewater-Raritan Regional School District, Raritan, N.J.
Strategies and Interventions to Promote Self-Regulation in Early Education Classroom
Self-regulation is essential for school-readiness, classroom behavior, and academic achievement. (Hernández et al., 2018; Ribner et al., 2017; Rimm-Kauffman et al., 2009) Neurocognitive processes involved in self-regulation include motor and cognitive inhibition, voluntary attention, and working memory.
Hear about evidence-based interventions that promote self-regulation skills as well as the role of movement activities, mindfulness and games with rules for students’ motor inhibition, voluntary attention and working memory. Learn how attention coaching, teaching students’ meta-attention skills, and providing optimal cognitive load affect students’ attentional control.
Elena Savina, Associate Professor, James Madison University, Harrisonburg, Va.
Supporting Social-Emotional Learning through a Trauma-Sensitive Lens
Today’s students bring new challenges. Schools are seeing large increases in students with significant mental health problems and behavioral concerns. Educators are stressed. A way to positively impact students and staff is by creating trauma-informed and integrated social-emotional learning environments.
Hear about how to integrate social-emotional learning into the classroom fabric with a on concepts and techniques to promote regulated states, build strong relationships, and develop social-emotional skills through a trauma-sensitive lens.
Amanda Deeter, Social Emotional Specialist, Jessica Davies, Director of Social Emotional Learning Division, and Jackie Renegado, Social Emotional Specialist, Montgomery County Education Service Center, Dayton, Ohio
Teaching to the Human Core
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, Calif.
Think-Time Strategies: Become Less Reactive and More Responsive
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 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, making classrooms warm and nurturing environments. You will leave this session knowing that, when shift happens, you are prepared.
Debbie Leonard, Marcey Aronson, Marlon Wayne, Consultants, BrainZones, Akron, Ohio
Universal Screening of Social and Emotional Learning Skills to Support Academic and Behavior Performance
Social emotional learning comprises a key set of skills that are pivotal in the academic, social, emotional and behavioral development of youth. Many states have adopted SEL educational standards. The Social-Emotional Learning Skills Inventory, a rating scale in universally screening students in culturally and linguistically diverse school districts in the southeast United States, collected data from more than 2,000 students in pre-K-12, and is being used to promote academic, emotional and behavioral success for students in pre-K-12.
Learn about considerations for implementing universal screening and data showing the role of SEL data in predicting high-stakes test scores and office discipline referrals. Share current methods for assessing SEL in your setting, discuss legal and ethical issues in conducting universal screening and create a blueprint for potentially doing universal screening in your own setting.
G. Thomas Schanding, Associate Professor, University of Houston-Clear Lake, Houston, Texas, and Donna Black, Assessment Consultant, Western Psychological Services, Torrance, Calif.
Using SEL to Advance Career and College Readiness in Out-of-School Time
A new free toolkit and professional learning community developed by the Maryland Out of School Time Network, provides practical resources for out-of-school time programs to incorporate SEL directly connected to career and college readiness. Get hands on experience with toolkit activities and learn more about how programs can use real time data collection strategies to inform staff professional development and program design and improvement.
Ellie Mitchell, Executive Director, Emma Gillingham, College and Career Readiness VISTA, Maryland Out of School Time Network, Baltimore, Md., and Sally Munemitsu, Co-Founder, COO and Chief Collaborator, Algorhythm, Philadelphia, Pa.
A Well-Trained Mind: Social Emotional Awareness for Educators
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, Pa., and Lisa Greenawalt, Director, Curriculum and Instruction, Lehigh Career and Technical Institute, Schnecksville, Pa.