Fellowship for Social & Emotional Learning (SEL)

Fellowship for Social & Emotional Learning (SEL)

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About the Fellowship. The SEL Fellowship is designed to support outstanding teachers as they build skills for teaching social and emotional competencies by strengthening their current instruction and developing new lessons. Fellows work in a virtual professional community with experienced SEL practitioners, including State Teachers of the Year and Finalists.

Janelle Dickerson (shown in center) teaches dance and incorporates SEL into her work.

How SEL Fellows are selected.  Promising new leaders in SEL instruction are invited to apply after being nominated by State Teachers of the Year or a leader in their local Department of Education, teachers’ union, or teacher preparation program. This year's fellows included:  Janice Abud, Nicole Ayers,  Janelle Dickerson, JoLynne Martinez, Evelyn Clarke, Mindy McCollum-Boswell, Erin Craine,  Sarah Brokofsky, and Lisa Reed

What SEL Fellows do. 

  • Join and lead webinar discussions featuring national SEL experts, including State Teachers of the Year and Finalists
  • Receive and provide support for emerging leadership in SEL instruction though weekly discussion (hosted by NEA)
  • Develop tools for implementing SEL instruction in diverse classroom settings, including the SEL Minute (featured below(
  • Explore cutting-edge research exploring effective SEL approaches
  • Earn digital badges recognizing professional development in the areas of SEL instruction and leadership
  • Engage in blogging and conference presentation opportunities with the NNSTOY community


What SEL Fellows said about the Fellowship.

“The Social-Emotional Learning Fellowship through NNSTOY has provided me the opportunity to learn first hand about SEL pedagogy, collaborate with educators across the country, and impact SEL instruction. SEL is not only an important skill for our students in school, but a life-long skill for finding success in our world.”

"I cannot express how grateful I am for the NNSTOY SEL Fellowship. Not only do I feel honored to learn alongside great educators from around our nation, my eyes have been opened to the importance of infusing social-emotional learning in everything I do. Because of this Fellowship, I have worked with one of my classes to develop a Kindness Kart to spread notes of encouragement around our campus, a project that evolved organically after a handful of tragic experiences on our campus. I am also working with a few other student groups on an exciting new video project to help promote positive school culture. I don't know that I would have been alert enough to seize these opportunities, had it not been for the SEL Fellowship."

"The NNSTOY Social and Emotional Learning Fellowship has been a very eye-opening experience for me. I have learned many valuable practices from the fellowship.  However, each practice stems from the idea that as a teacher, we must not only educate the mind but also the heart. By educating the heart it allows for students to build healthy relationships, improve character, boost empathy, increase motivation all while developing a growth mindset.”


The SEL Minute. The SEL Minute is a ready-to-deliver teacher tool for integrating social and emotional learning (SEL) into regular classroom instruction.  Each slide provides a short activity or journal prompt based on a core SEL competency from the Collaborative for Academic, Social and Emotional Learning.  The slides are appropriate for a variety of ages.

Download slides to use teaching social and emotional skills.



SEL Fellows who contributed to the SEL Minute.

Janice Abud

Janice Abud is a Special Education Teacher Consultant at Richards Middle School in Fraser, Michigan. Over the past decade, her career has taken her between Arizona and Michigan, teaching at the high school and middle school level in Special Education. She holds both a bachelor’s and master’s degree in Special Education, focusing on students with cognitive impairments and learning disabilities. In addition to her classroom responsibilities, Janice is the middle school department chair for special education, co-chair of PBIS committee, and part of the district’s assistive technology team.


Nicole Ayers

Nicole Ayers is a STEM Algebra II PreAP teacher at Texas High School in Texarkana, Texas, and was named 2017 T-STEM Teacher of the Year for the Ross Perot STEM Academy. She recently completed her Master of Science in Curriculum & Instruction and holds bachelor's degrees in Chemistry and Chemical Engineering. Ayers is a robotics team mentor, assists with UIL Mathematics, and has recently partnered with the THS Science Club to bring NASA activities to a local elementary school.


Janelle Dickerson

Janelle Dickerson is a Bronx native who has studied and performed dance since the age of four. She holds a BA in Dance from Mount Holyoke College, a MA in Dance Education from New York University and a MA in Teacher Leadership from Mount Holyoke College. Janelle serves as a certified dance educator in public schools where she pursues her vision of providing equitable and authentic arts experiences for her students. The NNSTOY Fellowship has allowed her to integrate SEL within daily dance instruction by incorporating emotional, social and life skills into arts curriculum. The fellowship has also inspired Janelle to create a SEL website to share valuable resources https://janelledickersonmhccapstone.weebly.com/

Mindy McCollum-Boswell

Mindy McCollum-Boswell is currently in her eighth year in education. Seven of those years as a fourth grade teacher at Central Grade School in Effingham, Illinois. She teaches  in a rural area with a population of around 12,000. Her class sizes typically range from 23-27 students yearly. Her school population is predominantly white, but each year we are becoming more and more diversified. She has served as the head of the math committee since my first year at Central Grade School. Over the past year, she participated in the NNSTOY Teacher Leader Model Standards earning badges for Level I and II.



Megan Olivia Hall

Facilitator of the NNSTOY Fellowship for Social & Emotional Learning

Megan Olivia Hall is the 2013-2014 Minnesota State Teacher of the Year. She teaches science at the Open World Learning Community in Saint Paul, Minnesota. Read Hall's EdWeek article about how to turn your class into a team.

Joe Fatheree 

NNSTOY Director of Strategic Project and Fellowships Coordinator

Joseph Fatheree is the 2007 Illinois State Teacher of the Year, a member of the National Network of State Teachers of the Year, and a 2016 Finalist for the Global Teacher of the Year. He currently teaches at Effingham High School in Effingham Illinois.



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