Teacher SEL Space: Addressing Beginning Teachers’ Social Emotional Learning in a Support Group Structure


  • Peter Clyde Martin Ithaca College




Social Emotional Learning, Teacher Education, Teacher Retention, Teacher Effectiveness, Collaboration


There is evidence that ongoing social emotional learning (SEL) needs among teachers negatively impact teacher retention and student learning.  At the same time, teachers’ SEL has been insufficiently addressed in teacher preparation.  As a consequence, preservice and early-career teachers often lack the tools, perspective, and support to address their own SEL needs. The article describes a pilot project where current candidates and recent graduates in a teacher preparation program came together in an ongoing support group structure to share struggles, successes, and initiatives, support and advise each other, and reflect on their ongoing journey.  After a review of the literature on teachers’ SEL needs, gaps and models in teacher preparation, and the potential benefits of support groups, data from the pilot “SEL Space” meetings are presented and discussed, with an emphasis on thematic patterns, evolution over time, and participants’ reflection on the process. Implications for practice and research are presented.


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How to Cite

Martin, P. C. (2024). Teacher SEL Space: Addressing Beginning Teachers’ Social Emotional Learning in a Support Group Structure. Current Issues in Education, 25(1). https://doi.org/10.14507/cie.vol24iss3.2186