Supporting Teacher SEL and Well-Being within an MTSS Framework

Best Practices, Social-Emotional Learning, Assessment, Behavior

School and district leaders are becoming increasingly dedicated to improving their social-emotional learning (SEL) programs and practices for students. But an area of SEL that sometimes gets overlooked is the social-emotional skills and well-being of staff members. We know from research and practice that efforts to promote and improve student SEL will fall short if the teachers and staff members implementing SEL curricula and strategies do not have a good handle on these skills themselves. It is also a good idea for leadership teams to start planning now for how they will support their teachers’ social-emotional needs for the upcoming school year. Here are four areas of teacher SEL to consider and work towards addressing if you plan on making SEL a priority at your school.

How to Measure SEL - 7 Approaches to Consider

Social-Emotional Learning, Assessment, Behavior

We know from both research and practice that assessing and measuring social-emotional competencies is an important part of promoting social-emotional learning. For a long time, social and emotional skills were seen as something less tangible than academic skills and therefore also viewed as something that couldn’t be accurately measured. After decades of research and collaboration among educators, psychologists, psychometricians, and other practitioners, we now know that social-emotional competencies can be reliably assessed. However, there are many different approaches that schools use to get this type of social-emotional data. Below we outline some of the common approaches for measuring SEL and the pros and cons to consider when planning on implementing Social-Emotional Learning(SEL) surveys, assessments and screeners. 

Aligning Your MTSS Practice with the CASEL Core Competencies

Best Practices, Social-Emotional Learning, Behavior

When discussing SEL with educators, CASEL alignment almost always gets brought up. Because so many districts, schools, programs, and assessments have aligned themselves with CASEL’s framework for SEL, educators should have a thorough understanding of what CASEL is and what an alignment with the CASEL five core competencies looks like in practice. Below, we highlight key CASEL resources, components of their SEL framework, what it really means to be “CASEL aligned”, and how that alignment fits into an MTSS model. 

Spotlighting School-Based Interventions that Support Students’ Mental Health and Well-Being

Intervention Spotlight, Best Practices, Social-Emotional Learning, Behavior

A few weeks ago, we posted a blog outlining how to support students’ mental health in an MTSS framework. An important part of this work includes using evidence-based programs and practices that effectively promote students’ sense of well-being. This week, we are spotlighting three school-based programs that have extensive research supporting their impact on students’ social, emotional, and academic outcomes. If your district or school is looking to implement a mental health prevention program, we recommend reviewing this list to see if any of the following interventions meet the needs of your students and staff. 

Restorative Practices and How They Fit into MTSS

Intervention Spotlight, Best Practices, Social-Emotional Learning, Behavior

When discussing behavior management approaches with schools and districts, the notion of restorative practices is commonly brought up as an effective school-wide solution. There are many benefits to using restorative approaches, but it is important for school leaders to have a deeper understanding of what restorative practices entail and how they should be implemented. Below we outline the key components of a restorative practices approach along with guidelines for implementation and how to avoid common challenges and pitfalls. Finally, we discuss how these approaches actually impact schools and students and how they work within an MTSS framework. 

Supporting Students' Mental Health in an MTSS Framework

Intervention Spotlight, Best Practices, Social-Emotional Learning, Behavior

Educators are becoming increasingly aware of the impacts of the global pandemic on their students’ mental health and well-being. We’ve known for a while now the negative impacts that social isolation can have on child development. Prior to the pandemic, research showed that isolation and loneliness were often associated with psychological symptoms across childhood and adolescence. Recently, researchers have started to report findings on the mental health impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic on children and youth. These research studies show that the social distancing and stay-at-home measures implemented at the beginning of the pandemic resulted in increased reports of depression and anxiety among students. Studies have also shown that these negative impacts are more likely to be amplified for students who were already disadvantaged and marginalized prior to the pandemic (i.e., students of color and from lower socioeconomic backgrounds).

Tracking and Supporting Student Attendance in MTSS

Social-Emotional Learning, Behavior

Over the past year, attendance has become a significant issue for many schools and districts. With students learning remotely, in-person, or through a combination of both, it has been difficult for educators to not only keep track of and assess student absenteeism, but also implement effective practices to support strong attendance rates. As more students begin returning to in-person learning, it is critical for schools and districts to revisit their attendance practices and policies and make sure they are using approaches aligned with research and best practices. It is also important to align student attendance with the goals and practices used within a multi-tiered system of support (MTSS). Below, we provide an overview of why attendance is so important, how it should be monitored, and how to effectively address issues with attendance at the school, classroom, and individual student levels. 

Student Engagement: Why it’s Important and How to Promote it

RTI/MTSS, Social-Emotional Learning, Distance Learning, Behavior

As we move into the final stretch of one of the most challenging school years in our history, teachers and students might be noticing a decline in stamina. No matter the learning context (remote, in-person, or hybrid) keeping students engaged in learning at this point in the year is a common challenge. Although numerous teaching obstacles remain, there are several small but significant things that schools and teachers can do to boost and maintain student engagement. Below we take a deeper dive into what student engagement really is and why it is so important. Then we discuss some practical approaches for keeping students interested and involved in lessons, activities, and discussions. 

Top 10 Used Behavioral Strategies in 2020

Intervention Spotlight, Behavior

Discover the Top 10 Used Behavioral Strategies in 2020, and How to Implement Them Effectively

 

Supporting students who exhibit challenging behaviors in the classroom and struggle socially and emotionally is an important part of the MTSS framework. This week we are providing the most commonly used behavioral interventions and strategies from 2020. Although these are popular strategies that teachers use with students, there are always ways to improve upon them and strengthen their implementation and impact. Along with the strategies, we provide suggestions for ensuring students are being supported through their development of positive classroom behaviors and their social-emotional well-being.