How to Avoid 5 Common Mistakes When Implementing Social-Emotional Learning

Past Webinar | April 22, 2021

Every day students are hit with social media posts, comments from friends, changing tech trends and a variety of pressures. Schools try to support student wellbeing to foster productive learning environments, but when educators implement new social-emotional health programs, it’s easy to make mistakes. Social-emotional health is complicated and nuanced, educators find themselves working in space that might be totally new to them, and inevitably people make mistakes.

With over 30 combined years of experience counseling and facilitating social-emotional learning programs, Athens Academy’s Bob Sears and Woodward Academy’s McKenzie Lawson regularly draw upon their vast knowledge and experience to empower educators with SEL and set them up for sustained success. This informative 30-minute webinar was hosted by The Social Institute’s Founder and CEO Laura Tierney where she lead an engaging and interactive discussion about how to avoid common mistakes when implementing SEL programs.

Attendees learned:
  • How to avoid common mistakes when implementing social-emotional learning programs
  • Strategies for facilitating effective social-emotional lessons
  • The role of social media and technology in student social-emotional health
  • Why modern SEL helps educators get a head start on strengthening school community


McKenzie LawsonMcKenzie Lawson is a high school counselor at Woodward Academy, the largest independent school in the continental United States. A staunch advocate for diverse and accessible student programming, Lawson leads initiatives at Woodward focusing on mental health, drug and alcohol prevention, and family support.


Bob SearsBob Sears is Athens Academy’s Director of Student Services, supporting students and parents in that role since 2017. A Board Certified Counselor with 25 years of counseling experience, Sears joined the administration at Athens Academy as the Dean of Guidance in 2004, after previously working at Tallulah Falls School in Tallulah Falls, Georgia, and Pine Crest School in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida. In August 2008, he began serving as Director of Upper School while maintaining his counseling responsibilities, doing so until July 2017. During this time, he received the Faculty Award for Professional Excellence twice, as well as the Teacher of the Year Award in 2009. Later that year, Mr. Sears participated in the Peabody Professional Institute for Independent School Leadership at Vanderbilt University.