Teachers, principals, custodians -- even Bellevue's superintendent -- went through the same training as the students do.

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A key part of the effort to build Bellevue students’ emotional skills is getting buy-in from teachers and other adults in the school district. Last year, almost every school staff or district team created and agreed to a charter that outlines how they want to feel at work, what actions or behaviors will help them feel that way, and what they will do when conflict arises. Such charters are one tool in the RULER social-emotional approach that the school district is using.

Even the superintendent’s office took part.

For many employees, the process was the first time they’d ever had such conversations, said Stephanie Wright, the district’s curriculum developer for social-emotional learning.

“It grew like wildfire. People were really excited about it because the skills were so transferable,” Wright said. “You really get to know what people on your staff value.”

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Another part of the RULER process is asking people to identify five emotional words they would like to feel every day. For students, the top five words were excited, respected, happy, safe, confident and included. The responses from adults were similar: inspired, respected, supported, valued, safe and positive.

The charters have helped district staff address conflict in a more effective way, Wright said.

“If there is conflict, things don’t blow up because we have structures in place for how we want to handle that,” she said.

Would your workplace benefit from a social-emotional contract? Were you exposed to any behavioral training in school? Share your thoughts in the comments section below and in our reader call-out.