How to Start Implementing SEL in Your International School

CASEL’s SEL 3 Signature Practices Playbook is one of the best ways to get started with introducing SEL structure and practices into an international school setting for both adults and students. It can also be introduced to influence how your staff meetings are run.

It introduces three core practices, each with an excellent range of activities that you can apply in different settings in your school. These are:

  1. Welcoming inclusion activities and rituals, such as morning circles

  2. Engaging strategies, such as brain breaks and partner discussions

  3. Optimistic closure, such as ‘something I learned today’

These practices provide concrete examples of what SEL looks like in practice for both students and adults, and demonstrates the supportive environment that such activities can foster. They also give your school community an immediate starting point for introducing SEL to the classroom and other school settings.

The Playbook goes into some depth on the theory behind these practices, which is worth reading. As CASEL comments, “We have learned that doing these practices superficially or just for compliance’s sake will be of limited benefit. They are effective when thoughtfully selected to meet the needs of a particular context, facilitated skilfully, and understood to be part of a systemic plan to implement SEL.”

To accompany the Playbook and the full School Guide, CASEL’s Quick Start Timeline gives you a good idea of how to get started with SEL implementation at your school over a 12-month period. At each stage in the process, it includes links to resources to help guide you through the actions to take for each step, from exploring the schoolwide SEL indicators in Month 1 to sharing learning and planning for the next year in Months 11 and 12.

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