Just as it’s important to model SEL for students in the classroom, it’s also important for adults to consistently model social-emotional competencies with each other.

TOOL: Modeling SEL as a Staff provides examples of how adults can model social-emotional competencies while simultaneously influencing the learning climate. This list, of course, is not all-inclusive. School staff may wish to create their own chart aligned with the staff shared agreements. 



  • Use feeling words: “I feel ___ when things like this happen.” 
  • Admit mistakes and say how you’ll make things right. 
  • Become aware of one’s own cultural lens and recognize the biases that may exist as a result of that lens.
  • Be aware of how your emotions impact others, and seek feedback from others.
  • Notice events and ideas and how your body responds to them.
  • Notice personal behaviors, tone of voice, and personal affect that arise with various emotions/situations.
  • View challenges with a growth mindset.



  • Cultivate self-regulating and calming strategies.
  • Be willing to ask for help from others. 
  • Manage conflict effectively by finding win-win solutions.
  • Approach new situations as learning opportunities. 
  • Use and return school materials with care.
  • Model respectful disagreements with courteous language and a restorative mindset.
  • Engage in self-care strategies.


Social Awareness

  • Consider others’ perspectives and understand that everyone has their own set of truths and beliefs based on their own experiences. 
  • Actively support the school’s mission and goals. 
  • Model upstanding behaviors.
  • Be willing to compromise.
  • Model appreciation and acceptance of others’ beliefs and cultural differences.
  • Treat students’ families and community organizations as partners who can support your work with students


Relationship Skills

  • Greet others by name daily.
  • Build a connection with someone in your school with whom you do not normally interact.
  • Get to know others while respecting individual comfort level and boundaries.
  • Take time to reflect on potential outcomes before responding.
  • Allow others to get to know you within your individual comfort level and appropriate boundaries.
  • Be willing to give and receive constructive, helpful feedback during collaboration.
  • Model fairness, respect, and appreciation for others.
  • Acknowledge the efforts of others with encouragement and affirmation.
  • Use a range of communication skills to interact effectively with individuals of diverse backgrounds, abilities, languages, and lifestyles.
  • Actively participate in a healthy support network of valued relationships.


Responsible Decision Making

  • Model problem-solving strategies, like gathering all relevant information before drawing a conclusion.
  • Consider legal and ethical obligations before making decisions. 
  • Place the needs of students ahead of personal and political interests.
  • Consider how your choices will be viewed through the lens of others.

Adapted from the Collaborative for Academic, Social, and Emotional Learning (CASEL)