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Utilizing social-emotional learning supports to address teacher stress and preschool expulsion

Across the United States, rates of preschool expulsion exceed those in K-12 and relatively little is known of the antecedents and consequences of such disciplinary decisions for both teachers and children. Interventions to reduce expulsion from public preschool additionally benefit teachers' workplace experiences, including reducing stress. The present study explores associations among supports and resources which promote children's social and emotional learning (SEL), teacher stress, and requests for expulsions in community-based preschool classrooms. Surveys and interviews of Chicago area preschool teachers provide rich detail of teachers' experiences accessing and using supports in ways that impact their classroom emotions and disciplinary decisions. Although teachers who utilize SEL supports request fewer expulsions, the association is fully mediated by teachers' stress. Furthermore, qualitative matrix comparisons demonstrate distinct differences in how teachers who request expulsions experience and utilize supports and manage their stress as compared to those who do not make such requests. (author abstract)
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Reports & Papers
United States
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