Book by Phelps Co-Authors on How Teachers and Mental Health Professionals Can Support Social-Emotional Learning – Georgia State University News

story by Claire Miller

At first glance, Kindergarten to Grade 12 teachers and counselors have clear and distinct roles: one group focuses on students’ academic success, while the other focuses on mental health and well-being. to be general of the pupils.

But what if schools encouraged them to work more closely together?

College of Education and Human Development Assistant Professor Chavez Phelps has co-authored a new book titled “Building Great Teams of Mental Health Professionals and Teachers,” which explains how educators and mental health professionals in school settings can work as a team to better support students.

“Many students come to school not only with academic needs, but also socio-emotional and behavioral needs. Teachers feel overwhelmed and need support to teach their students effectively, ”said Phelps. “My colleagues and I wanted to write a book that provided a framework for how teachers can work with their colleagues in school mental health to meet the many needs of their students. “

Phelps and his co-authors Tonya and Bradley Balch from Indiana State University and Brandie M. Oliver from Butler University explore socio-emotional learning (SEL) – how children develop self-awareness, relationship skills and responsible decision-making skills – and how that positively impacts students and classrooms.

Integrating SEL into schools means that all educators can work together to support the child as a whole, rather than focusing on a specific aspect of a child’s learning.

The authors also provide guidance and professional development activities that groups of teachers and school mental health staff can use to strengthen their team dynamics and work together to support all students.

“A team approach to helping students solve their problems, which arise from often overlapping social, emotional, physical, and academic challenges, can be very effective,” wrote Phelps and his coauthors. “Mental health professionals and teachers both have specific degrees and training to work with students. Each brings a unique perspective to the team and an understanding of the students in their schools, typical behaviors and attitudes, and ideas about what has been effective in helping students solve problems.

To learn more about his book, visit

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