As research on the benefits of social and emotional learning (SEL) continues to grow, schools across the country are using formal SEL curricula to boost students’ skills. Such curricula have benefits for students’ social, emotional, behavioral, and academic outcomes, and the effects can last for up to three years post-intervention (Durlak, Weissberg, Dymnicki, Taylor, & Schellinger, 2011; Mahoney, Durlak, & Weissberg, 2018; Sklad, Diekstra, Ritter, Ben, & Gravesteijn, 2012). Yet, as with any type of instructional intervention, SEL materials and lessons are only part of the equation. Fully realizing robust SEL implementation and optimizing students’ social and emotional development require that school leaders support teachers to understand, model, and implement high-quality SEL practices in an ongoing way. Unfortunately, however, professional learning related to both children’s

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Laura Stickle, Rebecca Bailey, Gretchen Brion-Meisels, and Stephanie M. Jones

Laura Stickle ( is project coordinator and Rebecca Bailey ( is assistant director at the EASEL Lab at the Harvard Graduate School of Education. Gretchen Brion-Meisels ( is lecturer on education and Stephanie M. Jones ( is Gerald S. Lesser Professor in Early Childhood Development and director of the EASEL Lab at the Harvard Graduate School of Education.


Ashworth, E., Demkowicz, O., Lendrum, A., & Frearson, K. (2018). Coaching models of school-based prevention and promotion programmes: A qualitative exploration of UK teachers’ perceptions. School Mental Health, 10, 287-300.

Bridgeland, J., Bruce, M., & Hariharan, A. (2013). The missing piece: A national survey on how social and emotional learning can empower children and transform schools. Washington, DC: Civic Enterprises.

DePaoli, J.L., Atwell, M.N., & Bridgeland, J. (2017). Ready to lead: A national principal survey on how social and emotional learning can prepare children and transform schools. Washington, DC: Civic Enterprises.

DeWeese, A.R., Jennings, P.A., Brown, J.L., Doyle, S.L., Davis, R.T., Rasheed, D.S., … Greenberg, M.T. (2017). Coding semistructured interviews: Examining coaching calls within the CARE for Teachers Program. SAGE Research Methods Cases Part 2. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.

Durlak, J.A., Weissberg, R.P., Dymnicki, A.B., Taylor, R.D., & Schellinger, K. (2011). The impact of enhancing students’ social and emotional learning: A meta-analysis of school-based universal interventions. Child Development, 82, 405-432.

Jones, S.M., Bailey, R., Brush, K., & Kahn, J. (2017). Kernels of practice for SEL: Low-cost, low-burden strategies. New York, NY: The Wallace Foundation.

Mahoney, J.L., Durlak, J.A., & Weissberg, R.P. (2018). An update on social and emotional learning outcome research. Phi Delta Kappan, 100(4), 18-23.

Patti, J., Holzer, A.A., Brackett, M.A., & Stern, R. (2015). Twenty-first-century professional development for educators: A coaching approach grounded in emotional intelligence. Coaching: An International Journal of Theory, Research and Practice, 8(2), 96-119.

Reinke, W.M., Stormont, M., Herman, K.C., Puri, R., & Goel, N. (2011). Supporting children’s mental health in schools: Teacher perceptions of needs, roles, and barriers. School Psychology Quarterly, 26(1), 1-13.

Schonert-Reichl, K.A., Kitil, J., LeRose, M., Sipl, M., Sweiss, L., Teja, Z., & Sauve, J. (2016). Social and emotional learning and teacher education: What do we know and where do we go from here? White paper prepared for HopeLab, Redwood City, CA.

Sklad, M., Diekstra, R., Ritter, M., Ben, J., & Gravesteijn, C. (2012). Effectiveness of school-based universal social, emotional, and behavioral programs: Do they enhance students’ development in the area of skill, behavior, and adjustment? Psychology in the Schools, 49(9), 892-909.

Vasely, A.K., Saklofske, D.H., & Nortstokke, D.W. (2014). EI training and pre-service teacher wellbeing. Personality and Individual Differences, 65, 81-85.

Walter, H.J., Gouze, K., & Lim, K.G. (2006). Teachers’ beliefs about mental health needs in inner city elementary schools. Journal of the American Academy of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry, 45(1), 61-68.

Wehby, J., Maggin, D., Partin, T., & Robertson, R. (2011). The impact of working alliance, social validity, and teacher burnout on implementation fidelity of the good behavior game. School Mental Health, 4, 22-33.

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