Coaching with a Social Emotional Approach

Schools and districts must renew their focus on how to prioritize social and emotional support for adults through coaching and professional learning. Read more about how a strong social emotional lens can support coaching practices and improve outcomes.

By Momentous Institute | Aug 25, 2021
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Throughout the past two years, with a raging global pandemic, shifts to virtual or hybrid learning, racial and social justice movements, political upheaval and weather-related disasters, educators have been faced with unprecedented challenges and tremendous pressure.   

Momentous Institute and other organizations have published resources and recommendations to help educators process the stress of adjusting to the “new normal.” And now that the transition back to the classroom has begun and federal relief funds from the American Rescue Plan are flowing to public K-12 districts, schools and districts must renew their focus on how to prioritize social and emotional support for the adults through coaching and professional learning.

Research shows that in-classroom coaching is one of the most powerful ways to impact teaching and learning, but few campus professionals claim expertise integrating social emotional learning with curriculum and instruction. Coaching for Momentum: A Social Emotional Approach to Coaching, the brand-new playbook and interactive course offered by Momentous Institute are designed to address this gap.

If you are an instructional coach, a campus administrator, a counselor, or educator who supports teachers in a classroom, then supporting teachers is upmost on your mind, because you know that in addition to these new challenges for educators, elevated levels of anxiety and stress were already pervasive in the profession. According to a report from the Learning Policy Institute, “About two-thirds of teachers who leave their position each year do so for reasons other than retirement, including dissatisfaction with testing and accountability pressures, lack of administrative support, and dissatisfaction with the teaching career and working conditions.”

Training in SEL would help teachers find the balance they need to navigate their jobs, but according to a report from the Center of American Progress, “comprehensive SEL training for educators is often not comprehensive—or even available.” They point out that “research from 2016 found that although 87 percent of educators recognized the importance of SEL, fewer than 50% reported being given resources, training, or professional development in adult SEL.”

These daunting circumstances of stressful working conditions point to the critical need to provide essential SEL support for the adults on the campus. Now more than ever teachers need to be seen, heard, and felt as they navigate the journey back into school. Even though achieving a solid sense of SEL pedagogy is the goal, building the social-emotional skills of the adults is a vital first step, and this is most effectively accomplished through coaching.

Why invest in coaching with an SEL approach? It is widely known professional learning bridges the gap between research and practice, but as Aguilar points out, “coaching can build will, skill, knowledge and capacity because it can go where no professional development has gone before: into the intellect, behaviors, practices, beliefs, values and feelings of an educator.”     

By learning to coach with an SEL lens, coaches, counselors, principals, assistant principals, school leaders, staff developers, mentors, department chairs and others become better equipped to get traction for momentous outcomes, inspire transformational change and increase their ability to provide strong and sustainable support during these uncertain and unique times.

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Interested in learning more? Join our 6-part workshop series on Coaching for Momentum: A Social Emotional Approach to Classroom Coaching, as we work through five categories of awareness addressed in the playbook to enhance the coach-to-teacher relationship, and to deepen the reflective practice of teachers and those who support them. Participants develop a strong social emotional lens to inform the process of coaching as they also build a bank of resources and network of support. Read more and register here.