SEL for Staff
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Social and Emotional Learning for Staff

Social and Emotional Learning for Staff
Just as it’s important to model SEL for students in the classroom, it’s also important for adults to consistently model social-emotional competencies with each other. As leaders in our schools, adults have a responsibility to work intentionally to create a positive and supportive classroom and school climate. Adults model the social and emotional skills for young people to emulate. Adults can successfully model positive social and emotional learning behaviors by keeping the five key SEL Skills in mind:


  • Using feeling words and "I statements": “I feel ___ when things like this happen.” 
  • Admit mistakes and say how you’ll make things right. 
  • Becoming aware of one’s own cultural lens and recognize the biases that may exist as a result of that lens.
  • Being aware of how your emotions impact others, and seek feedback from others.
  • Noticing personal behaviors, tone of voice, and personal affect that arise with various emotions/situations.
  • Viewing challenges with a growth mindset.


  • Cultivating self-regulating and calming strategies.
  • Be willing to ask for help from others. 
  • Managing conflict effectively by finding win-win solutions.
  • Approaching new situations as learning opportunities. 
  • Engaging in modeling respectful disagreements with courteous language and a restorative mindset.


  • Considering others’ perspectives and understand that everyone has their own set of truths and beliefs based on their own experiences. 
  • Modeling upstanding behaviors.
  • Be willing to compromise.
  • Modeling appreciation and acceptance of others’ beliefs and cultural differences.
  • Treating students’ families and community organizations as partners who can support your work with students

Relationship Skills

  • Greeting others by name daily.
  • Building a connection with someone in your school with whom you do not normally interact.
  • Getting to know others while respecting individual comfort level and boundaries.
  • Taking time to reflect on potential outcomes before responding.
  • Allowing others to get to know you within your individual comfort level and appropriate boundaries.
  • Be willing to give and receive constructive, helpful feedback during collaboration.
  • Modeling fairness, respect, and appreciation for others.
  • Acknowledging the efforts of others with encouragement and affirmation.
  • Using a range of communication skills to interact effectively with individuals of diverse backgrounds, abilities, languages, and lifestyles.
  • Actively participating in a healthy support network of valued relationships.

Responsible Decision Making

  • Modeling problem-solving strategies, like gathering all relevant information before drawing a conclusion.
  • Considering legal and ethical obligations before making decisions. 
  • Placing the needs of students ahead of personal and political interests.
  • Considering how your choices will be viewed through the lens of others.
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