Adult SEL: Moving Beyond Admiring the Problem to Solving It

We all know by now the impact the pandemic has had on educators. It is time to move beyond admiring the problem to solving it. Adult SEL represents a batch of solutions that can help however this work must go beyond just self-care. Join our Chief Development Officer Dr. Clay Cook and Director of Research Dr. Brian Smith to learn effective ways educators can bring to life Adult SEL to promote educator social-emotional well-being, engagement, and collective efficacy through a combination of organizational and individual strategies.

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Dr. Brian Smith


Dr. Smith was an elementary school counselor, and middle and high school social worker before getting his PhD at the University of Washington. His studies focused on the science behind school-based Social Emotional Learning programs. He spent a decade at Committee for Children as the primary research scientist behind the design and revision of the Second Step SEL program. He has provided Stress and Coping focused "SEL for Adults" trainings to educators in multiple districts over the last two years.

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Dr. Clayton Cook


Dr. Clay Cook is the Chief Development Officer at CharacterStrong and is an implementation scientist, psychologist, and former paraprofessional and middle school math teacher. He has spent the past 15 years working in partnership with school systems across the country to support the implementation of effective practices that promote better and more equitable outcomes for students. He has been a professor and researcher at three universities (Louisiana State University, University of Washington and University of Minnesota) studying topics such as implementation of evidence-based practices, educator well-being and resilience, social-emotional learning, and youth mental health. He has obtained over 20 million dollars in grant funding for his research and published over 100 peer-reviewed scientific articles. For his work, he has been invited to the White House and served on expert panels with the Center for Disease Control and Prevention and the US Department of Education.

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