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February 21, 2024

Teaching Channel Talks Episode 86: How Social-Emotional Learning and Teacher Wellness Shapes Education (w/Dr. Tish Jennings)

In this episode of Teaching Channel Talks, Dr. Wendy Amato welcomes Dr. Patricia “Tish” Jennings, a professor of education at the University of Virginia and internationally recognized thought leader in social-emotional learning and mindfulness. Drawing on results from Dr. Jennings’ Cultivating Awareness and Resilience in Education (CARE) program, a mindfulness-based professional development program for teachers, this discussion centers around reducing teacher stress, improving educators’ emotional regulation, and how this attention to educator well-being shapes education and impacts student engagement, motivation, and even reading competence in classrooms.

Our Guest

Dr. Patricia “Tish” Jennings, a professor of education at the University of Virginia, holds international recognition for her thought leadership in the fields of social and emotional learning and mindfulness. Her groundbreaking work includes leading the development of the CARE program, a mindfulness-based professional development initiative, which recently secured a substantial $8 million grant from the Department of Education. Dr. Jennings is also the principal investigator for two additional U.S. DOE-funded studies: Project CATALYZE and Project ENGAGE, demonstrating her dedication to advancing educational research. Additionally, she is the co-author of Flourish: The Compassionate School Project, an integrated health and physical education curriculum. Connect with Dr. Jennings on Linkedin.

Our Host

Dr. Wendy Amato is the Chief Academic Officer at Teaching Channel’s parent company, K12 Coalition. Wendy earned her Master’s in Education and Ph.D. in Curriculum and Instruction from the University of Virginia. She holds an MBA from James Madison University. Wendy began teaching in 1991, has served as a Middle School Administrator, and still teaches at UVA’s School of Education. She has delivered teacher professional development workshops and student leadership workshops in the US and internationally. Wendy and her family live near Charlottesville, Virginia.

Resources for Continued Learning

During this conversation, Drs. Amato and Jennings discuss the Cultivating Awareness and Resilience in Education (CARE) program, which has recently been awarded one of three $8 million grants through the Department of Education for expansion and further testing. Early results of SEL-based this professional development program reveal that taking care of teachers results in better student outcomes. Learn more about Dr. Jenning’s study and the impact of the CARE program here.

In this episode, Dr. Jennings mentions her curriculum, Flourish: The Compassionate School Project, which can be accessed by educators for free.

Dr. Jennings is also the author and editor of several mindfulness books for teachers. Check out one of these titles for additional learning about educator well-being:

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