Professional Development and SEL Coaching

Training and workshops

The School Culture and Climate Initiative offers high-quality professional development for educators and the wider school community. This includes community-based and faith-based organizations that are committed to working with and on behalf of students and families. PD is encouraged in the context of a longer-term partnership in order to maximize its effectiveness. Workshops are delivered by our expert partners and are designed to bridge the gap between research and practice. All of our PD topics support our commitment to improving a school’s culture and climate and integrating social-emotional and character development in the classroom and school-wide. Workshops are customized to meet your needs and workshop length is flexible. Most workshops can also be provided both in-person or virtually. 

SEL Coaching

Coaching is an essential component of an effective professional development program.  Coaching can build will, skill, knowledge, and capacity because it can go where no other professional development has gone before: into the intellect, behaviors, practices, beliefs, values, and feelings of an educator.

-The Art of Coaching, Elena Aguilar

The School Culture and Climate Initiative offers one-on-one or small group coaching for educators who are interested in honing their skills in incorporating social-emotional learning and creating positive climates in their schools and classrooms. Educators and our coaches form strong coaching partnerships and collaboratively identify personal development goals. Coaches provide modeling, observation and feedback, and spend quality time with educators, ideally, across a full academic year.

What We Offer:
Whether you are interested in supporting new teachers, fostering teacher leaders as mentors, or training your whole staff in a set of SEL skills, our coaching supports include:
• Co-planning
• Goal-setting
• Co-teaching
• Modeling (can be for an individual teacher or group of teachers)
• Observation and feedback

Teachers benefit by:
• Receiving specific feedback that allows for skill development and growth
• Setting personal goals that allow each teacher to maximize their full potential
• Cultivating classrooms where the learning environment is positive and engaging
• Developing and managing nurturing relationships with their students

Administrators benefit by:
• Receiving tools to help staff better collaborate, manage stress, and maintain their overall well-being
• Collaborating with the coach regularly to ensure positive outcomes in the larger school community.

To learn more about SEL coaching, contact Liz Warner, Co-Director of the School Culture and Climate Initiative.

Workshop Series

“Foundations of a Systemic Approach to Positive School Climate”

This workshop series provides a unique opportunity for school and district leadership to apply basic tools and processes around climate improvement to their own school community while also providing an onboarding ramp for deeper reflection and practice for positive school climate implementation. Learn more.

“Building Within: Cultivating Well-Being and Emotional Resilience in Educators”

Designed specifically to help educators develop their SEL skills, this workshop series will feature guided personal reflections and offer tools for implementing SEL practices on a daily basis. Educators will come away with a set of activities they can take back to their schools and easily share with colleagues in their school communities. Learn more.

Professional Development Offerings

Adult Social-Emotional Learning Competencies

While sound pedagogy in SEL is the eventual goal, most often, building the social-emotional skills of the adults in the school community is a crucial first step. Fostering a positive school climate requires that the adults model social and emotional competence, collaborate with others effectively and manage stress to maintain their overall health and well-being. Workshops in this area allow attendees to engage in self-reflection and discover strengths and opportunities for personal and professional growth. The goal for these workshops is to encourage educators to embark on a transformation journey that will eventually benefit the entire school community.

  • The Importance of Adult Social-Emotional Skills: The Foundation for a Thriving School Community
  • Unlocking Your EQ to Enhance Personal and Professional Growth
  • Self-Care Strategies for Educators
  • Reaching our Full Potential by Understanding our Stress Responses
Bullying and Harassment Prevention

In today’s day and age, school safety is at the forefront of the discussion of school improvement efforts. For decades, school bullying has been accepted as a rite of passage and a normal part of childhood. Workshops can be offered to address bullying prevention and bystander empowerment. Courses can be tailored for staff, administrators, parents or students and can include both prevention and intervention best practices.

  • Bullying/Cyberbullying Awareness and Prevention 
  • Beyond Bullying:  Preventing and Responding to Protected Class Bullying and Harassment
  • Practical Upstander Skills for Students and Staff Who Witness Bullying Behavior 
  • Ensuring a Safe and Inclusive School Environment for LGBTQ Students 
Culture and Climate

Culture and climate workshops will be designed based on where each district or school is in the improvement process. Workshops can provide the steps and tools necessary for improvement, the continuum of change and how to implement sustainable strategies, activities and best practices for maximum impact. Because social-emotional and character development is an integral part of a healthy school climate, elements of SECD can be woven into these workshops. Sessions can also be custom-tailored to meet the needs of educational leaders who often require a different level of PD in order to lead the school or district through the change process and garner staff and community buy-in. Data-driven decision making is incredibly important in the change process – workshops can be provided to stakeholders who want to understand what drivers of climate have been identified from past research, what tools and strategies are available for data collection and how to use that data to guide school climate improvement efforts.

  • The Fundamentals of School Culture and Climate, Social-Emotional Learning & Character Development
  • Creating a School Climate that Promotes a Sense of Connection and Belonging
  • Improving Classroom Climate with Researched-Based Instructional Strategies
  • Data-Driven Decision Making and Planning for School Climate Improvement
  • Strategies for Improving School Climate by Elevating Student Voice
Culturally Competent Schools

Our classrooms have become increasingly diverse environments which require that educators have the knowledge and skills to effectively interact with students and families with backgrounds different from their own. Workshops in this category can be tailored to achieve objectives related to accepting and respecting differences, understanding different cultures and communication styles, and increasing self-awareness so we understand how our values and attitudes shape our interactions with others. Educational practices that capitalize on students’ unique learning styles and strengths can be shared. Workshops specifically geared toward educational leaders can also be crafted to help districts and schools shape policies and practices that support a learning environment that is accessible and equitable for all.

  • Introduction to Cultural Competence in 21st Century Schools
  • The Impact of Privilege and Implicit Bias on School Climate
  • Addressing Disproportionality and Behavior through SEL
  • SEL Through an Equity Lens
  • Handling Difficult Conversations: Strategies to Build a Community of Respect
  • Purposeful Youth Involvement to Promote Equity
Schoolwide and Classroom Social-Emotional Learning (SEL)

Social and emotional learning (SEL) is the process through which children and adults understand and manage emotions, set and achieve positive goals, feel and show empathy for others, establish and maintain positive relationships, and make responsible decisions ( Decades of research demonstrates that promoting SEL produces a variety of beneficial outcomes for students – both short and long term. Workshops in this category can range from an introduction to what SEL is and why it matters to more in-depth training related to pedagogy and practice. SEL is one component of the school culture and climate improvement process and therefore, the relationship between the two will be explored. Note: The Initiative does not endorse any particular SEL curriculum or program and therefore, any courses within this area will focus on academic integration and the processes necessary to make SECD a priority that positively impacts the learning environment.

  • Foundations of SEL and Why It Matters
  • SEL Integration Across the Curriculum
  • Classroom Strategies to Help Students Become More Successful in School and Life
  • Placing Student Voice at the Center of SEL Instruction
Schoolwide Inclusion of Students with Special Needs and Other Marginalized Youth

There are many emotional and behavioral challenges that students with special needs experience. Not only can academics be a struggle, but these students may also experience frustrations related to peer rejection, social skills deficits and feelings of low self-worth. All of these challenges put this population of students at higher risk for academic failure, risky behaviors, truancy, delinquency and even suicidal ideation. Workshops in this category can be centered on a particular population of students (for example, gifted students or students on the autism spectrum). Workshops can also explore how to understand and motivate these students; best practices for appropriate educational programming; evidence-based interventions; ethical considerations; and strategies for dealing with challenging classroom behaviors.

  • How SEL Supports Students with Special Needs
  • Understanding and Working Effectively with ADHD Students
  • Strategies for Creating Inclusive Schools & Classrooms
  • Empowering Marginalized Youth to Help Shape School Policy and Programming
Social-Emotional Learning (SEL) for Families

Families can play a large role in helping to teach and reinforce the SEL skills that their children are learning at school. Most families agree that SEL competencies are necessary for success in life but may need resources and support in order to understand how to best complement the SEL efforts taking place at school. Workshops provided in this area can offer parenting tools and techniques that can be used at home to help children communicate and cooperate more effectively, develop healthy relationships, enhance their empathy for others and manage unpleasant feelings in a productive manner.

  • Essential Connections between Parenting and Social and Emotional Learning
  • Emotionally Intelligent Parenting
  • Raising Kind and Caring Children
  • Parents and Educators Working Together to Promote Social-Emotional Development
Student Mental Health

Educators are not expected to diagnose or treat mental health issues and yet having a fundamental understanding of the basics can be quite helpful for school personnel and subsequently, for students and their families. Workshops in this category are not designed for mental health practitioners – rather they are meant to provide information and strategies to educators so that mental health conditions in students are not exacerbated and that all students have the best chance of success in school. Workshops can be designed to teach staff about the most common mental health disorders, what symptoms may look like and how staff can best respond to related student behaviors. Even for those students who do not have a mental health diagnosis, stress is at an all-time high and pressure to succeed can create unpleasant side effects. Workshops can be tailored to mindfulness and self-care practices that all students can benefit from, healthy test-taking strategies and even basic self-regulation or coping strategies.

  • Social and Emotional Learning as a Bridge to Mental Wellness
  • The Need for Coping Skills in an Age of Anxiety
  • Building Resilience: Research-Based Approaches for Suicide Prevention
  • Strategies to Foster Self-Regulation and Emotion Management
  • The Benefits of Mindful Moments in the Classroom
Trauma-Responsive Classrooms

Many of our students are exposed to trauma early in life and they struggle to accurately perceive safety and self-worth, to self-regulate and to succeed socially or academically. Sometimes these students will display behaviors in the classroom that are challenging and disruptive. Other times, these students may withdraw and choose not to participate in class. Workshops for schools beginning to embrace this topic can focus on the developmental aspects of trauma, how it can manifest in the classroom and what trauma-sensitive language sounds like. For schools who have been exploring the basics of trauma and have a fundamental understanding of the topic, more advanced strategies for working with and bringing the best out in these students can be shared. With the right tools, skills and knowledge, teachers can create safe learning environments where wellness is fostered, students are empowered and healing can begin.

  • Attachment and the Impact of Trauma in Schools
  • Strategies for Creating a Trauma-Sensitive Classroom
  • Moving from Trauma-Sensitive to a Healing-Centered Classroom
  • A Trauma-Informed Approach to Brain Regulation so that SEL Practices can Thrive
  • Strategies to Support Students Who Experience the Toxic Stress of Poverty
Understanding Student Behavior and Encouraging Positive Student Engagement

Student behavior in the classroom is a form of communication. Therefore, punishing students or shutting down unwanted behavior without getting to the root cause is often just a temporary solution, at best. Workshops in this category can explore what motivates student behavior, how we can create spaces that encourage cooperation, and what strategies we can employ to maximize student engagement. Whether your goal is to cultivate the next generation of changemakers, to help students persist in the face of adversity or to improve classroom behavior, these workshops can address your needs. Our experts who deliver these workshops can help transform classrooms into environments where expectations are established, classroom norms are co-created by students and staff and where youth feel empowered to implement positive changes in their lives and the lives of others.

  • Discipline Strategies that Build Responsibility and Respect
  • Helping Students Find Success Through Positive Self-Talk
  • Conflict Resolution Techniques that Strengthen the School Community
  • Practical Strategies for Encouraging a Growth Mindset
  • Amplifying Youth Voice to Maximize Engagement

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