Teacher Practices

State Resource Center: Teacher Practices

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Schools can adopt one or more evidence-based approaches to ensure that all students are supported in their social and emotional development. Toward that aim, teachers can adopt practices that allow them to intentionally support SEL throughout the day and in all settings.

CASEL recommends that states provide guidance on the selection, implementation, and monitoring of evidence-based SEL teacher practices. The resources below can help.

Resources from CASEL

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Feel free to download, customize, and use with attribution, e.g., “Adapted from the Collaborative for Academic, Social, and Emotional Learning and used with permission.”

  • What Does Evidence-Based Instruction in Social and Emotional Learning Actually Look Like in Practice? This CASEL brief summarizes extensive research and analysis of effective SEL programs in order to identify teaching practices found in evidence-based approaches. You can use this to learn about the actions teachers and leaders can take to support SEL. Access the report.
  • Sample Teaching Activities to Support Core Competencies of Social and Emotional Learning – developed in collaboration with the Pennsylvania state team. This resource describes teaching strategies found in evidence-based programs that can be used to support SEL in a variety of subject area classes. You can use it to find examples of the types of instructional strategies and ongoing practice to support SEL in the classroom across the school day. (August 2018). Download the report.
  • Examples of Social and Emotional Learning in Subject Areas – developed in collaboration with the Massachusetts and Pennsylvania state team. This collection of resources identifies lesson activities and teaching practices to support SEL across a variety of subject areas and grade levels. You can use them to develop guidance for how to incorporate SEL into different subject areas in your school or state. (August 2017)

Resources from Other Organizations

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  • SEL Strategies and Tools. Act for Youth. This toolkit views SEL as a multifaceted student-centered approach. It is designed to promote students’ individual assets and offers recommendations for teachers’ instruction for SEL, including scaffolding. Use this if you are interested in incorporating student-centered practices in SEL instruction. Download the toolkit.
  • SEL Coaching Toolkit. American Institutes for Research. This toolkit provides instructional coaches, administrators, and district leaders with key insights for supporting teachers in their SEL practice. You should use this if you are interested in the way coaching can support or enhance the SEL professional learning of teachers. (August 2017). Download the PDF.
  • Teaching the Whole Child: Instructional Practices That Support Social-Emotional Learning in Three Teacher Evaluation Frameworks. Center on Great Teachers and Leaders. This brief introduces 10 teaching practices that support social, emotional, and academic development throughout the school day. Examples include student-centered discipline, teacher language, self-assessment and self-reflection, balanced instruction, and competency building. You can use this brief to find examples and develop concrete ways for teachers to enhance SEL. (January 2014). Download the report.

Resources from States and School Districts

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  • Illinois State Board of Education – K-12 Comprehensive System of Learning Supports. The Illinois Comprehensive System of Learning Supports offers modifiable and specific teacher practices aligned to the goals and indicators of their SEL framework by grade bands. Download the reports:
  • Kansas Department of Education – Personal and Social Development Instructional Examples. The Kansas Personal and Social Development Instructional Examples offer modifiable and specific teacher activities aligned to the Personal and Social Development goals and indicators of the Kansas SEL framework by grade bands.
  • Tennessee Department of Education – Incorporating Social and Personal Competencies Into Classroom Instruction and Educator Effectiveness: A Toolkit for Tennessee Teachers and Administrators. This toolkit aligns instructional practices to the Tennessee teacher evaluation model process and provides examples of teacher practices that support SEL. It showcases how incorporating SEL into daily teaching practice can improve students’ competencies and educators’ effectiveness. View the webpage.
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