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What if there was a way to bring Social Emotional Learning forward in every community?

My 160214_IMG_033goal is to develop emotionally intelligent schools: places where children, youth and adults feel safe, included and connected with the world around them. In order to meet this goal, I support schools to implement SEL programs, and teach educators and families the principles of emotional intelligence. A former special education teacher, I have served students and adults in Spain, Nicaragua, and California, and have led several successful innovative initiatives in schools. Please send me a note if you want to learn more about my current services.

My doctoral dissertation received highest honors from the Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona, and won the 2014 Graduate Student Award for Excellence in SEL Research from the American Association of Educational Research (AERA). A testimony of the impact SEL can have on students and teachers, my research identifies the conditions that make SEL implementation possible in schools. Using a participatory methodology, action research, teachers engaged in all stages of the process and were key players in the design, development and evaluation of the SEL intervention.

 It is common to hear students talk about learning from challenges and mistakes, navigating their emotions and creating positive actions both in their classrooms and on the playground.  After one year of implementation, behavior referrals were reduced by 35%. We are still refining our SEL curriculum and school-wide program, but are really pleased with the outcomes thus far.”  Sharon Johnson, former Principal

Through this research, I understood that teaching SEL and integrating its content and strategies into teaching practices and academic standards requires not only professional development services for teachers, but also an ongoing reflection about our own practice and a continuous dialogue with other practitioners that are trying to do the same.

No matter your role—administrator, educator, student, or parent-—there is always something that you can do to bring SEL forward in your community. The tools and strategies provided in this blog will help you develop your own social and emotional skills, so you can support others do the same. Drop me a message to say hello, and tell me about your current efforts and needs.