10 of the Best Social Emotional Learning Books for Teachers

Social emotional learning has been a buss word in education. However, many times it is left as “Teachers, do this – good luck!” and not much more. Reading some SEL books specifically for us as adults is a great way to gain a deeper understanding about some of our own perspectives as well as learning how to best implement emotional learning activities.

With everything that we have to do within a given day, we do not want SEL to been seen as something additional or something to check off our lists. Because truly – it is an essential aspect of education. So if you are looking for a new book, a book for a book club, or just want to better your own practice- here are 10 great options for you to read!

1.  Social Emotional Learning Starts with Us

If we want students who know and understand social emotional learning, we ourselves need to understand it. We need to practice self management, social awareness, self awareness, strengthen our relationship skills and responsible decision making skills. This book gives practical tips that you can implement in your own life to support your emotional needs that can also help you to support students in your classroom.

If you want a plan you can put into place, this is a great place with easy to understand and implement strategies. If you are an expert in all things SEL, this is still a good read with great reminders. 

2. Social Emotional Learning and the Brain: Strategies to Help your Students Thrive

Want to learn the science behind SEL and how your brain works? Maybe you have dealt with adverse experiences in your past and are unsure of how to handle that while also supporting your students. Then this book is perfect for you. The author was in the classroom for 25 years, so you know you are reading the words of someone who just gets it (because sometimes that can be heard to find). 

3. Mindful Classrooms: Daily 5-Minute Practices to Support Social-Emotional Learning (PreK to Grade 5)

We all know how strapped we are for time, so if you need more of a bite sized practical guide, then this is for you. This guide will help create the integrated, accepting school community you are striving for. This book will teach students easy ways to regulate their bodies, calm their minds, and focus on the here and now.  This is targeted for the elementary classroom only.

4. The Social-Emotional Learning Playbook: A Guide to Student and Teacher Well-Being

 This playbook is different from the others because it is an interactive tool. There are prompts for reflection to develop your own self awareness as well as scenarios that you have to critically think through. It is like taking a professional development course in a book. 

5. Social and Emotional Learning in the Classroom: Promoting Mental Health and Academic Success

If you don’t have time to set aside for specific SEL lessons, this book will help teach you how to integrate the sel competencies into your lessons. It will help you look at SEL through a tiered approach, just like we do with academics! This has also been updated to reflect the most recent updates and research in the SEL world.

6. Teaching with the HEART in Mind: A Complete Educator’s Guide to Social Emotional Learning

Step by step approach to integrate SEL skills into every lesson of your day. Included are over 90 different activities to promote your students sel engagement. 

7. Building Academic Success on Social and Emotional Learning: What Does the Research Say?

Did you know SEL is tied to academic achievement? And it does not matter the grade level- this is true for young children and older kids. If you want more bang for your buck, this book will help you increase the student achievement in your classroom. It also helps parents to understand why this is so important and can help facilitate that conversation.

8. All Learning Is Social and Emotional: Helping Students Develop Essential Skills for the Classroom and Beyond

Although we sometimes this of social-emotional skills needing their own learning block, they are really embedded in everything we do – including the lessons we teach. Included in this book is an amazing toolbox that will help you to address 33 different competencies. This will help your students build their emotional intelligence, develop conflict resolution skills, and develop a growth mindset.

9. 50 Social Emotional Learning Lessons Vol. 1

Maybe you do have time set aside for SEL but not sure what to do with it. This book lays out exactly what you can do to make it easy! These lessons are great for students in grades 6-12. 

10. Classroom Management Matters: The Social-Emotional Learning Approach Children Deserve

Did you know you can embed SEL into your classroom management system? You classroom management will have a big impact on your classroom community, so you want to be sure it is one that is supportive and builds skills and fosters positive relationships.  This is a way to change the old school thinking of punishments and encourage positive behaviors for an easier year for you!

Need more resources for SEL?

Check out these task boxes that can make teaching SEL fun and engaging. They are aligned to the 5 core competencies of CASEL.

If you are ready to have a smooth school year and help provide students with a strong foundation for the rest of their lives, you have some great tools in this list. Remember it is so important to know our own emotional awareness before we can support others. If you are reading this blog post, then I know you are ready to do the hard work and I congratulate you on taking the first step!

Please note that there are affiliate links in this blog post. In full disclosure, this means we get a small commission when you click and purchase from one of these links.

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