A man with dark hair and glasses rests his chin on his hand with a contemplative expression on his face.

Self-Awareness SEL Survey: Reflect on SEL Competencies for School Leaders and Staff

Social and emotional learning (SEL) is the process through which children and adults acquire and effectively apply the knowledge, attitudes, and skills necessary to understand and manage emotions, set and achieve positive goals, feel and show empathy for others, establish and maintain positive relationships, and make responsible decisions.


This activity is designed for school leaders, staff, and adults on the SEL team.

Schoolwide social and emotional learning (SEL) is a systemic approach to infusing social and emotional learning into every part of students’ educational experience — across all classrooms, during all parts of the school day and out-of-school time, and in partnership with families and communities.

This activity was designed for self-reflection. It should not be used to evaluate performance. Insights gained from this personal reflection tool can be effectively used during SEL professional learning.


  1. Read each statement on the handout (Self-Awareness Survey Questions PDF linked in the resources section above — also on pages 36-39 of the complete CASEL Guide, also provided). Rate yourself on the statement by marking the appropriate box. If a statement does not apply to you, draw a line through the box.
  1. When you finish, search for patterns of strengths and challenges to guide your personal social-emotional growth process. This information is for you, so answer accurately without judging responses as “good” or “not as good.”
  1. After completing the worksheet, reflect on the results to draw conclusions:

A. If you consider that statements marked as “often” could be indicators of personal strengths:
1. How do these strengths affect your interactions with students and peers?
2. What competencies do your strengths relate to?
3. Which of your strengths do you believe will help you guide schoolwide SEL?
4. Which are you most proud of?

B. If you consider that statements marked as “rarely” could be considered as current challenges:
1. How might enhancing this area benefit your interactions with students and/or peers?
2. To which competency or competencies do your challenges relate?
3. Select one or two areas you believe would help you promote schoolwide SEL.
4. Develop a strategy to remind yourself to practice this new behavior, or bring it up as something to work on with a mentor or a coach.

  • When looking at your responses, were there things that surprised you? Were there things that confirmed what you already knew about yourself?
  • List ways you can model your strengths for others and embed them throughout the school day.
  • List ways you can improve on any challenges you currently face.

What is CASEL?

The Collaborative for Academic, Social, and Emotional Learning (CASEL) is the country’s leading PreK-12 SEL practice, policy and research organization. For 25 years, CASEL has been a trusted source for knowledge about high-quality, evidence-based social and emotional learning (SEL) and has made the case for SEL as an integral part of education. Through research, practice, and policy, CASEL collaborates with thought leaders to equip educators and policymakers with the knowledge and resources to advance social and emotional learning in equitable learning environments so all students can thrive. Watch the below short video about CASEL to learn more.

Related Articles

Resources We Love (And Hope You Will Too!)

During our May Counterpart meetings, we asked folks to share what they have been engaging with recently. Below is a list of all the resources shared by our incredible community, offering a taste of the diverse and inspiring content they’re currently exploring. This list has something for everyone: from thought-provoking articles to captivating podcasts to must-watch documentaries. So, take a peek, pick your poison, and get ready to dive into something fantastic!

Case Study: Merced Union High School District

Through its work with Inflexion, MUHSD is seeing strong results in student outcomes and in closing the opportunity gap for underserved students. California School Dashboard data show College/Career Indicator scores for African American, Hispanic, English Learners, students with disabilities, students who are homeless, and students who are socioeconomically disadvantaged are 16 to 29 points higher than the state average.

Passion. Pride. Promise. Two Leaders Help Pave the Way for Their Students & Communities

Tucked away in the hills of rural western Oregon, the Vernonia and Gaston school districts defy many of the stereotypes most of us hold when we think of rural schools. Their communities face both common and unique challenges. Vernonia Elementary Principal, Michelle Eagleson, and Gaston Superintendent, Summer Catino, share how their small schools and communities achieve greatness.