Educators understand that students need social and emotional learning (SEL) to give them the skills to thrive in school and in life.

But educators need SEL, too!

When educators have strong social-emotional skills, they are:

  • better prepared to teach SEL to students
  • able to model social and emotional skills authentically in the moment
  • better equipped to manage stress, the demands of teaching, and students’ needs

Strengthening Teacher Preparedness

To effectively teach SEL, teachers must have a strong understanding of the process and its impact on student learning, yet most teachers don’t receive pre-service training in SEL. Many educators feel they need to increase their own knowledge about SEL and are more guidance on how to integrate SEL into their instructional time. Strengthening teachers’ social-emotional skills will improve SEL instructional effectiveness, which ultimately contributes to positive student outcomes.

Modeling SEL Authentically

Teachers need strong social and emotional skills to be able to model respect, appropriate behaviors, and healthy communication. Modeling also helps teach students effective decision-making, empathy, and calming strategies. When teachers model social-emotional skills authentically, classroom climate and culture improve, students feel more connected to their teachers, and classroom conflict and disruptive behaviors decrease.

Improving Stress Management

Strengthening an educator’s social-emotional skills can have a positive impact on their own health and well-being, as well as on their job. Teaching can be very stressful, and effective stress management skills are essential to avoiding burnout. Educators rely on self-regulation, coping skills, self-efficacy, and intrinsic motivation every day to help them meet the demands of teaching.

As you can see, educators benefit from SEL just as much as students do, both for their own well-being and in support of positive student outcomes.

Interested in diving deeper? Read our whitepaper, “Adults Need SEL, Too: The Case for Strengthening Educators’ SEL” to learn more about the benefits of building social-emotional competence in adults and how to get started.