As we plan for the 2024 SEL Exchange, one of my most exciting moments is seeing all the engaging, informative proposals that we receive from our Call for Submissions. As CASEL’s manager of programming, I’m often asked, “What really makes a submission stand out?”
To help answer that question, I turned to the SEL experts from both CASEL and across the field who helped us make our selections last year. Here’s what they told me. (If you’ve already uploaded your submission and want to make revisions based on these tips, you can still edit your draft through March 1!)
First, check all the boxes!
You’re likely eager to hit send, but first be sure to carefully review the guide and checklist to ensure you submit everything that’s required. And don’t forget to consult our rubric—it’s the standard we use to assess all the submissions categories.
Make the connection
This year’s theme is ACCELERATE: Academic Thriving and Lifelong Learning, so we’re looking for sessions that bring that theme to life. We’ll be prioritizing sessions that explore the deep connections between SEL and academic achievement, spark effective strategies for integration, and accelerate students’ lifelong learning and well-being.
How do you plan to use your time? How will participants interact with each other, reflect, and apply what they are learning? Let us know, and be sure to communicate specific objectives and tell us how the activities you lead will benefit the participants. NOTE: This is one of the most heavily weighted elements of the submission.
Back it up with research
Let us know you’ve done your homework and that the session you’re proposing aligns with the research in the field. Cite the studies, articles, and/or reports you’ve consulted and explain how they have informed your submission. Again, get specific. We want to hear about research that connects to the content of your proposal specifically, not general research that applies broadly to SEL. Also share how you will present the research in your session.
Mix it up!
Don’t just “push” information. Be sure to engage participants through activities, reflection, and discussion. Consider varying the session to include a video, a panel, dialogue, real-life examples, etc.
Who are you speaking to?
The SEL field is wide! Who’s your target audience? Teachers, support staff, policymakers, administrators, or some mix?
SEL, but make it systemic
While we’d love to see sessions that include practical, take-and-use strategies (classroom activities, toolkits, etc.), be sure to connect your practical resources to larger schoolwide and/or districtwide approaches.
Don’t miss the deadline!
We’ll be accepting submissions through 11:59 pm on March 1, 2024, in preparation for the conference, which will take place in Chicago, November 12-14. Check out the Call for Submissions for more information.
We’re looking forward to reading your submissions and to developing a program that will engage, inspire, and support the SEL field!