Lead with social and emotional support

By James A. Bailey and Randy Weiner
October 2021
“I am not sure what to do. I am not sure how to deal with the emotions my teachers are showing. I don’t feel like we are getting lots of help to know how to help our teachers. I think I am going to lose half of my staff this year.” Sadly, we have heard this refrain over and over in recent months, as we’ve talked with school leaders across the country. School leaders describe, in heartrending detail, the emotional pain and suffering they and their teachers have experienced over the past 18 months. Educators are dealing with tremendous amounts of stress, experiencing burnout, and feeling a lack of efficacy, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, racism, and ongoing threats to their autonomy as professionals. Despite

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American Federation of Teachers. (2017). 2017 educator quality of work life survey. Author.

Berkovich, I. & Eyal, O. (2021). A model of emotional leadership in schools: Effective leadership to support teachers’ emotions. Routledge.

Carver-Thomas, D. & Darling-Hammond, L. (2017). Teacher turnover: Why it matters and what we can do about it. Learning Policy Institute.

Knoblach, S. (2019). Employee engagement benchmarking study. K12 Insight.

Knoblach, S. (2019). Employee engagement benchmarking study. K12 Insight.

Lawrence, D.F., Loi, N.M., & Gudex, B.W. (2019). Understanding the relationship between work intensification and burnout in secondary teachers. Teachers and Teaching, 25(2), 189-199.

Leithwood, K. & Beatty, B. (2009). Leading with teacher emotions in mind. Corwin Press.

Leithwood, K., Anderson, S.F., Mascall, B., & Strauss, T. (n.d.). School leaders’ influences on student learning: The four paths.

Wang, H., Hall, N.C., & Taxer, J.L. (2019). Antecedents and consequences of teachers’ emotional labor: A systematic review and meta-analytic investigation. Educational Psychology Review, 31, 663-698.

Image for aesthetic effect only - James-bailey
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James A. Bailey ( and Randy Weiner ( are partners at SEL-LeaderU. 

Image for aesthetic effect only - Randy Weiner-scaled
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Randy Weiner ( are partners at SEL-LeaderU.

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