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Episode 2: Leading SEL by Modeling It

March 2, 2021


Season 1, Episode 2:

School leaders often make decisions to help their students and staff - but when it comes to investing in themselves, they are notoriously negligent. This is a big mistake, as James Bailey and Randy Weiner, authors of The Daily SEL Leader, point out. Social-emotional learning is personal work, and school leaders have to be willing to engage in the work themselves before they can lead others in doing the work. In this episode, Peter DeWitt talks with the authors to learn:

  • The unlikely aspects of SEL you might be neglecting
  • How to approach SEL work with honesty and authenticity
  • The cost of not embracing SEL for yourself and your school



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James Bailey


James Bailey

James Bailey is an experienced K-12 leader, having served as an elementary and high school principal, an assistant superintendent, superintendent, and turn-around leader in both the public and charter school spaces in Colorado, Wyoming, and Texas. He has also worked as a school improvement consultant and leadership coach opening his firm called the Leading Learners Institute in 2016 (

Author: The Daily SEL Leader, The Productive Principal

Join the Leading for SEL Network and connect with him on Twitter.


Randy Weiner


Randy Weiner

Randy has worked in start-ups, education, and education technology throughout his career.  He is a co-founder and served as the founding Chairman of the Board at Urban Montessori Charter School  (UMCS) in Oakland, CA—the nation’s first public Montessori, Arts Integration and Design Thinking school. Randy is also a co-founder and the CEO at BrainQuake, a two-time U.S. Department of Education Small Business Innovation Award winner.  BrainQuake's math technology has also been recognized for its exceptional application of the learning sciences by Digital Promise.  A Teach for America alum, Randy taught for five years in Oakland and Madagascar.  He provides educational consulting services, along with James Bailey and Elana Feinberg, through Brass Tacks Innovations

Author: The Daily SEL Leader, The Productive Principal

Join the Leading for SEL Network and connect with him on Twitter.


Peter DeWitt


Peter DeWitt

Peter DeWitt (Ed.D.), a former school principal in Upstate, NY, previously taught elementary school for 11 years. His syndicated blog, Finding Common Ground, is published by Education Week and he is a freelance writer for Vanguard Magazine. Peter has traveled the world, developing content, visiting school sites, influencing policy, and presenting with John Hattie. He has worked with educators at schools, districts, educational service centers, and educational organizations, including the Council of Chief State School Officials. His presentations focus on school leadership, school climate, as well as safeguarding LGBT students and other social justice topics.

Learn more about Peter's onsite professional development consulting, Collaborative Leadership, and connect with him on Twitter.



Get the book!


The Daily SEL Leader

The Daily SEL Leader: A Guided Journal

Everyone in your school community benefits when you invest in YOU.

Social-emotional learning is one of the hottest education topics today. Most of the focus, however, has been at the student level. The truth is that school leaders can’t implement social-emotional learning effectively if they don’t deeply understand it for themselves.

A deeper, renewed self-awareness and understanding of your own and others’ emotional needs is the key to promoting social-emotional learning across your school. Exploring and mastering core social and emotional competencies a little at a time with the help of this guide fits perfectly with the daily demands of being a school leader, team leader, or classroom leader. Using the core CASEL skills presented in six modules, this guided journal will help you:

  • Become more self-aware of what each CASEL skill means for leadership
  • Build stronger relationships throughout schools, classrooms, and communities
  • Increase credibility and approachability
  • Engage stakeholders confidently

get the book


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