Social Emotional Learning: It Starts With Teachers

Fostering a sense of calm and joy in the classroom must start with the teacher. This special report explores the social-emotional competencies needed for classroom teachers, and how they can then convey those skills to their students. The stories in the report, which include perspective pieces by current teachers, look at new research surrounding teacher stress and burnout, innovative ways to incorporate social-emotional learning into everyday lessons and with different groups of students, and strategies for self-care, mindfulness, and cultural responsiveness, starting in teacher preparation programs.

To help his 4th graders reflect on and manage their emotions, teacher Perry Hollins incorporates social-emotional learning into his lessons, and teaches them to channel their feelings into constructive civic actions.

Read the story.



How can teachers practice mindfulness in the classroom? In a collection of videos from the Teaching Channel, educators demonstrate how they support healthy social and emotional development in their students.

See the videos.




Expert educators share their advice on how teachers can develop their own social-emotional competencies, and how to pass those skills on to students, in our Teaching Ahead roundtable.

Read the roundtable.


June 7, 2017 Experts say that teachers must develop their own social-emotional competencies, including the ability to manage stress, before they can effectively model these skills to students.
June 7, 2017 High stress levels among teachers can harm their students' academic achievement, new research shows.
June 7, 2017 Some teachers are incorporating social-emotional learning into their everyday lessons to prepare students for civic engagement and promote social justice.
June 7, 2017 Researchers and schools are exploring whether regular yoga practice can reduce teacher stress and equip educators with strategies to stay calm during chaotic moments in the classroom.
June 7, 2017 Nancy Markowitz, founder of the Center for Reaching & Teaching the Whole Child, discusses how she helps preservice teachers apply a social-emotional lens to all aspects of their work in the classroom.
June 7, 2017 After suffering from burnout, Justin Ashley learned the keys to happiness and to becoming a better, more emotionally balanced teacher.
June 7, 2017 Cultivate a classroom culture that fosters productivity and resilience in the face of internal struggles, writes Ronen Habib. Students and teachers alike must invest in self-care to deepen learning and to make strides in personal growth.
June 7, 2017 There is an urgency to expand the definition and practices of social-emotional learning in order to create equitable school environments for students of color, Dena Simmons writes.

This special report was produced with support from the NoVo Foundation.

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