Social-Emotional Health & Wellness Goal Examples

SEL4OR’s suggestions for trauma- & equity-informed guidance lead naturally to goals educators may want to consider for the school year. According to the Oregon Department of Education, the “two Student Learning and Growth (SLG) Goals, and one Professional Growth goal” required of all teachers and administrators for the 2020-21 school year “can emphasize engagement and social, emotional, and behavioral health rather than purely academic measures.” ODE specifically notes (see here) that “Teachers may focus SLG goals on: 1) social and emotional learning for students, 2) student engagement, and/or 3) family engagement. Academic goals may be considered with mutual agreement.”  

The goals offered below as examples follow the four trauma-informed considerations outlined in our “trauma-informed” suggestions linked above. All are grounded in racial equity and social justice. The goals listed intend to help educators and their schools create environments that support resilience in students as we move forward through the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Not all schools or districts in the state formulate their goals in the same way; please adapt and adopt from our list of suggestions as best fits your purposes. (Download a PDF version of this page)

Cultural Responsiveness

What: Culturally Responsive Teaching focuses on positive racial/ethnic/cultural self-identity that is rooted in dynamic home/school/community cultural wealth and anti-racist practices in all aspects of learning. Students’ families are often the foundation of students’ cultural backgrounds. When we take time to build relationships with families, to honor their racial and cultural heritage, and to hear their thoughts and opinions, we open doors and invite students to bring their cultural backgrounds into the classroom. Culturally responsive practices help students gain understanding and skills to interact with those both similar to, and different from, themselves.

Goal Examples:
• I will foster new relationships that elevate family voice and perspective with all students, prioritizing students with membership in groups that have traditionally or historically been marginalized by school systems (ie; Black, Indigenous, or other persons of color; those learning English, LGBTQIA+).

  • Professional Goal: To do this I will schedule time to work with cross-role team members (community partners, staff, family, volunteers, etc.) who have relationships with students and families, to lead small-group or one-on-one discussions about their experiences “in the classroom,” about their hopes for their children’s education and ways to deepen school, family, and community relationships that meet their family’s needs. 
  • Student Goal: To do this I will survey students regarding their perception of our relationship and make revisions to instruction in accord with the results.


• I will check in and follow up with students and their families about their perspectives and concerns regarding experiences in my classroom, prioritizing voices of students with membership in groups that have traditionally or historically been marginalized by school systems (ie; Black, Indigenous, or other persons of color; those learning English, LGBTQIA+)

  • Professional Goal: I will do this by gathering feedback from students and their families on assets and strengths, feelings of connection or isolation, and root causes of disengagement with the school community.
  • Student Goal: I will do this by surveying students and families to understand needs, and then continually reviewing, disaggregating and analyzing data with an equity lens in order to inform decision making and action plans for change. I will measure this by surveying students regarding  perceived effectiveness.



Emotional Wellness

What: Emotional wellness entails feeling secure when expressing personal opinions, emotions, and deeply held thoughts. Effective Social and Emotional Learning (SEL) practices support emotional wellness by being grounded in strong relationships and teaching emotional and relationship skills. By focusing on providing consistent and predictable routines, rituals, responses, and procedures, a sense of safety and trust can be established. The strategies below can support the state law and initiatives of Adi’s Act (SB 52), Erin’s Law (SB 856), Drug and Alcohol Prevention (Division 22/OAR 581-022-2045), and All Students Belong (OAR 581-022-2312).

Goal Examples: 
• I will foster an environment that strengthens the emotional wellness of both individual students and our classroom community as a whole. 

  • Professional Goal: I will do this by incorporating structures into my daily practice, with an emphasis on holding space for students to identify emotions and prosocial responses through the use of direct instruction, modeling, and/or role playing.
  • Student Goal: I will do this by explaining the purpose of identifying emotions and prosocial responses, and by gathering feedback from students regarding the effectiveness. 


• I will develop routines and procedures that ensure trust is maintained in distance learning.

  • Professional Goal: I will do this by co-creating classroom expectations/norms with my students that are posted visually, referenced often, and representative of the voices of the students I serve.
  • Student Goal: Communicating routines— synchronous and asynchronous—to both students and families so as to increase emotional security and a sense of predictability.

• Resources:


What: Relationship is one of the strongest antidotes to the negative effects of trauma. It refers to the universal deep human need to feel connected to others—to belong—in relationships characterized by warmth, support, and trust. Positive attachment—a sense of belonging—suppresses stress responses and aids healing; attachment provides safety, which supports emotional and behavioral regulation.

Goal Examples:
• I will prioritize belonging, relationships and community building by holding regular classroom meetings.

  • Professional Goal: I will do this by embedding CASEL’s 3 signature practices into classroom meetings.
  • Student Goal: I will do this by engaging students through connections and highlighting student identities surveying participants regarding their experiences.


• I will strengthen my relationships with students to create a community of care where individual identities are valued.

  • Professional Goal: I will do this by integrating into my instruction strategies to build relationships with all students: to understand their identities, their strengths and needs.
  • Student Goal: I will do this by surveying students regarding their perception of our relationship and by revising strategies according to the results.




Voice, Choice, and Empowerment 

What: Voice, choice, and empowerment help children develop a sense of having some control over their environment: the sense that their actions can make things better both for themselves and for their communities. Children who can develop this sense are healthier, happier, more self-directed and more resilient.

Goal Examples:
• I will help students develop “voice” by soliciting, encouraging, and implementing their suggestions for how to make our class continually more helpful and more effective.

  • Professional Goal: I will use class time and/or independent learning time for periods where students will reflect on class climate and culture and articulate or jot down their needs or wishes for improvement. I will warmly validate student contributions with special attention to those whose voices I feel most need developing.
  • Student Goal: Students will answer periodic survey questions regarding their satisfaction with our process and with their feelings about classroom culture in general.


• I  will enrich the social-emotional capacity of my students by frequently offering them choices in assignments and other class-related activities.

  • Professional Goal: In cases where choice is not possible, I will help students understand the rationale (or rules) that dictate something must be done in a certain way. In other cases, I will offer students choices either in the assignment being worked on or in ways to approach the assignment.
  • Student Goal: Students will be surveyed regarding satisfaction with the choices they are offered, and their voice/input will be sought regarding improving the system.




Possible Assessments

  • Student self-assessments
  • Family self-assessments
  • Student/teacher goal setting conferences and forms
  • End of reporting period interviews


Foundational SEL Professional Learning Opportunity 

What: SEL4OR’s micro lessons (linked here) provide opportunities for deeper learning and reflection to support the professional development and practice of school district staff. The lessons focus on 4 key pillars of trauma-informed care.  Each pillar has 3-4 micro lessons specific to the topic, to further one’s understanding of why and how social-emotional learning helps us all prepare to move forward (academically, socially, and emotionally) as a resilient community.

Goal Example:
Professional Goal: I will increase my ability to support my students—academically, socially, and emotionally—by completing SEL4OR’s micro lessons that focus on the four pillars of trauma-informed care.

This document is a collaboration of districts and professionals from Oregon. Special thanks to Beaverton, Hillsboro, North Clackamas and Portland School Districts and colleagues from SEL4OR.