Collinsville, IL ROE 40 SEL Workshop
In 2021, ISBE created seven SEL Hubs across the state to increase Social Emotional Learning, Trauma-responsive education, and equity. The Area 5 SEL Hub is made up of 13 counties in Southwest Illinois. This summer Mindful Practices supported Area 5 and over 125 educators from those counties to innovate for their districts during a 5-day conference in Collinsville, Illinois.Regional Offices of Education Area 5 Eight SEL coaches from Mindful Practices led 4 of the days of the conference as a way to provide insight and mentorship to each team as the groups developed individualized SEL Programming for their school year. Participants engaged in defining the “what” and the “why” of SEL, learned about trauma-informed practices, built connections between collective well-being and advocacy, and combined all of this learning into building action plans and team presentations to take back to their home districts. Mindful Practices facilitated and co-created this work through activities and discussion rather than a typical “sit and get” PD.

“Spectacular! Take the notion of what “PD” is and throw it out the window! This was an engaging and refreshing way to develop individuals both professionally and personally.”

Several other educators in attendance were thrilled that alongside adult SEL practices, they were also given so much time in their teams to actually create actionable plans for the school year.

“Professionally life changing, I see my role as a teacher much more holistically. Everyone did a wonderful job presenting. It was all very organized and I would recommend this to any teacher.”

A social worker from the Gillespie school district remarked on the enthusiasm his team gained from their work with Mindful Practices at the Summit:

“Our district group from Gillespie came into the training confused and after only 5 days, we left enthused! The Mindful Practices team is top notch, and really got our district rolling in the right direction!

Everyone from Mindful Practices is super friendly and knowledgeable, and went above and beyond to assist us in developing and refining our district plan to implement social and emotional learning in the coming school years!”

– Kevin McNicholas
Gillespie School District, School Social Worker

Each team was assigned a dedicated SEL coach as they built out their plans and presentations. This partnership between the coaches and educators made the experience at this Summit really special and the coaches were impressed with how enthusiastic their teams were even after four straight days of SEL work.

Coach Priscila Rodriguez has kept in touch with her team members into this new school year, even hopping on Google Meets to offer further consultation. She has found that many of them are successfully implementing their action plans at their schools. One of her team members told Coach Priscila that;

“Looking from last school year to now, we’ve made some progress in the right direction! Eventually other schools in our district will be looking to us to see how we’re embedding specific SEL time into the structure of our day.”

This SEL Summit has impacted Area 5 school districts beyond the four days that participants and coaches were actually in attendance and Mindful Practices can’t wait to watch the teams’ action plans play out in each district.

Mindful Practices is interested in providing more professionally rejuvenating experiences to all educators. Learn more about our work and how to partner with us here.

Have questions? Send us an email to Mindful Practices and let us know! hello@mindfulpractices.us.