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SEL Spotlight

What’s Your SEL “EQ”?

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Tools to self-assess your Emotional Intelligence and Teaching Practices so you can measure your SEL “EQ”

Social and Emotional Learning (SEL) is a lifelong process and educators are most effective when they make time to actively reflect upon and develop their own SE competencies. In this post, we examine several tools you can use to measure your SEL EQ.

Measure your SEL EQ
Feeling stressed? Take time to self-reflect

This post provides an overview and links to three tools for evaluating your own strengths and areas for development when it comes to “Emotional Intelligence”(sometimes referred to as “EQ”), as well as SEL teaching practices. Teachers’ own social and emotional competencies directly affect how they interact with students on both social and instructional levels. Because of this, taking time to reflect and identify areas for personal growth is the first step to effectively helping students develop SE competencies.

Quick Scan: Take a Brief Personal Inventory & Set Goals

The first tool we’ll look at is the “Devereux Adult Resilience Survey” (DARS) from the Center for Resilient Children. The DARS is a 23-item reflective checklist that helps adults identify personal strengths as well as areas for personal development.

My take: I like it because it not only provides a brief inventory of personal strengths, it also includes easy-to-complete reflective tools that help you make an action plan to set and achieve personal development goals.

The DARS focuses on YOU and gives you insights into these four areas:

1) Relationships

2) Internal Beliefs

3) Initiative

4) Self-Control

Click here to download the DARS tool and get started on your journey of reflection and personal goal-setting.

CASEL-Aligned: Reflection Tool for School Leaders, Staff & Adults

The second tool is the Adult SEL Self-Assessment from CASEL.  Recommended for principals, administrators, SEL team members, and staff to assess their personal strengths and think about how they can model those strengths when interacting with others.  The self-rating scale correlates to the CASEL competency framework for adults to self-assess their competency in:

  1. Self-Awareness
  2. Self-Management
  3. Social Awareness
  4. Relationship Skills 
  5. Responsible Decision-Making

My take: For schools that use the CASEL model to guide their work around SEL, this tool provides continuity and builds deeper understanding and familiarity with the framework. Once you complete the assessment, be sure to return to the first page to reflect on strengths and areas for improvement.

Click here to download the Adult SEL Self-Assessment from CASEL. 

Deep Dive: Do a Comprehensive Evaluation 

The final tool is “Self-Assessing Social and Emotional Instruction and Competencies”, created by the Center on Great Teachers & Leaders at American Institutes for Research. This is a comprehensive self-evaluation tool that helps educators reflect upon:

1) Current teaching practices that impact student SEL

2) Personal SEL competencies as an indication of readiness to implement SEL teaching practices

My take: I like this tool because it is organized into a section on Social Interaction Assessment, followed by a section on Instructional Interaction Assessment. In each of these sections, it guides educators through a self-evaluation that has you first consider your implementation of teaching practices, and then consider your own SEL competencies. Taking stock of teaching practices first paves the way for a more honest self-reflection on personal strengths when it comes to SEL competencies. 

Click here to download the GTLC SEL self-assessment tool for educators.

Reflection as Restorative Practice

I hope these tools inspire you to make time for self-reflection and goal setting. The beginning of a new year and new semester is a great time to do this. Whichever assessment you choose, be sure you don’t skimp on completing the goal setting and action planning that each tool provides. These exercises can open up new pathways and serve as a powerful source of rejuvenation and renewal – something we all need right now!


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Margot Toppen

Margot Toppen

Margot Toppen is a visionary educator who works at the intersection of SEL, arts, and physical education.

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