2021 SEL Exchange Virtual Summit
Past Conference Photo (for webpage)

Webinar - Wendy Baron, MA

Return to Webinar & Blog Series Page >

Jan 2020 - Cultivating Adult SEL through Staff Meetings
By Wendy Baron, MA, New Teacher Center

School leaders and coaches can do a great deal to cultivate resilient, effective teachers; enhance the emotional climate of a school; and improve overall health and well-being by intentionally integrating social and emotional learning into every staff meeting and by building the capacity of teacher leaders to do the same.

You might be wondering—how in the world can I use meetings as an opportunity to foster adult social and emotional skills, let alone improve school climate and the health and wellbeing of the staff when we have so much business to get through? My message—be intentional, strategic, and laser-focused.

7 Key Principles:
  • Start each meeting by connecting staff members to one another in an inclusive, relevant activity. When educators engage in authentic, meaningful ways an environment of trust and a community of support develops.
  • Co-develop collaboration norms with your staff, and reflect on them often. Invite staff members to set intentions related to the norms and revisit them at the end of each meeting. Groups that reflect on behaviors and interactions are quicker to develop as a highly functioning team.
  • Keep business and announcements to a minimum. If an item is self-explanatory, put it in writing on the agenda and give staff time to read, jot down dates, and ask clarifying questions.
  • Dedicate MOST of the meeting time to learning, problem solving, consensus building, etc. Use highly engaging instructional strategies and participation structures that teachers can then use with students. Emphasize communication guidelines to support productive, positive interactions among staff members—just as we want teachers to do with their students.
  • Integrate stress management, emotion regulation, and brain-break strategies. If you don’t feel comfortable leading these, invite teachers who already incorporate strategies such as deep breathing and interactive brain breaks to lead short exercises with the staff. Vary the strategies so teachers build a repertoire of activities to use with students.
  • Close each meeting with an inclusive activity that supports reflection, connection, and application. Throughout the meeting, note the instructional strategies used as well as social-emotional competencies addressed.
  • Actively facilitate the group. Ask clarifying questions, inquire, observe the group, summarize, rephrase, and reformulate, invite speakers to elaborate on their thinking, and pause for think time.

By cultivating adult SEL within meetings, relationships strengthen, the school’s emotional climate improves, and teachers develop self-care and emotion regulation practices that increase resilience and inspiration and reduce stress and burnout. Ultimately, our students win by having more effective and engaged teachers and leaders!

Return to Webinar & Blog Series Page >

Event Information

October 14-16*, 2020
Pre-Conference Day: October 13, 2020
Renaissance Schaumburg Convention Center Hotel | Schaumburg, IL
*Programming ends at noon on October 16, 2020

Latest Updates

Call for Exhibitors is now closed.
Call for Submissions is now closed.

Mark Your Calendars

Registration: Opens Spring 2020

Stay Up to Date

Sign Up Now