Adult social-emotional learning in the elementary school setting

Foskey-Raimer, Donald C.
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University of Delaware
Throughout the 2021-2022 school year, I implemented the strategies within this Educational Leadership Portfolio with the support of my SEL leadership team in my effort to improve adult understanding of social-emotional learning (SEL) in the elementary school setting. Research shows that not much attention has been given to SEL in pre-service and in-service training for educators (State et al., 2011; Stipp, 2019). Studies also support the claim that SEL is important to the development of students and their success in the social experience that is learning in the school setting (Durlak et al., 2011). My work addresses the professional learning needs of school staff members in regard to SEL and social-emotional competence (SEC) development. ☐ The improvement goal of this ELP was to increase staff understanding of SEL, its importance, and how to provide effective instruction of SE competencies. To accomplish this goal, I implemented three improvement strategies. My first strategy was to develop an improved understanding of the knowledge and needs of school staff members. This was done through a staff survey that greatly influenced the development of a professional learning plan (Appendix E) and a communication plan (Appendix F). The second strategy was to find, enhance, and implement a research-based professional learning program. I worked collaboratively with my SEL leadership team to provide professional learning about adult SEL and SEC development, how to provide SEL instruction to students, and about the benefits of SEL for students. The third strategy was conducting a review of Second Step Elementary SEL program evaluations to further evaluate the merit of the program that was implemented in the elementary school setting. ☐ To support the improvement strategies and measure their effectiveness to achieve the improvement goal, a family event was facilitated, professional learning took place, and feedback was gathered in the form of a staff survey, staff focus groups, and a student focus group. Staff and students reported finding value in the work and the SEL instruction that took place. They expressed a desire to continue the work, and school staff members requested additional professional learning opportunities that support collaboration and discussion about SEL and SEC development. This project’s research and findings highlight the need for stakeholder collaboration, consistent SEL program implementation with fidelity, and continual necessity for professional learning opportunities that support the needs of school staff members in the area of SEC development and how to best provide SEL instruction for students.
Social-emotional learning , Elementary school setting , Educational leadership