Episode #181: Lorena Seidel: Emotionally Intelligent Schools

Dana GoodierOut of the Trenches Podcast

Lorena Seidel M.Ed. is a Social Emotional Learning {SEL} Consultant, a certified Montessori teacher, a trained Positive Discipline Educator, a Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) teacher, and a mother of three. She helps adults create a more positive relationship with young children and a more peaceful home and classroom environments.

Lorena has helped thousands of parents and teachers stay strong, calm, and remain effective even under the most stressful moments. She has guided them to develop their children’s social, emotional, and life skills. Lorena has transformed the home-life and the parent-child relationships of hundreds of families- for life!

A sought-after speaker who has delivered keynote addresses and lectures at local, national and international conferences such as the American Montessori Association and British Columbia Montessori Association. Lorena speaks at libraries, organizations, and mom groups such as MOPS and Holistic Moms Network. Lorena gives talks at

a variety of Montessori and independent schools, including Sacred Heart University. She has been interviewed for several online summits, including being featured alongside Simon Sinek for the Early Childhood Leadership Conference. Lorena’s articles have been featured at NYMetroParents, Motherly, Welcome Parenthood, and more.

Lorena is also the author of The Purposeful Child: A Quick and Practical Parenting Guide to Creating the Optimal Home Environment for Young Children. Lorena lives in Connecticut with her husband and three daughters.

Trench story: as parent are always. story goes back to when she came home w/ baby. Grew up an EI-unintelligent family. Grew up in S. Brazil. Best intentions. After a few years yelled, threatened, etc. First 2 kids 18 months apart. Felt like she was replicating her parents in parenting. She knew it was bigger than will-power, education, training. She came w/ blueprint to react. Figured out she wasn’t alone. It was a turning pt. Rewired her own EI.

Emotional intelligence in students, in terms of how to do school after pandemic shutdown: For her, it’s simple. When we feel better, we do better. Tt’s kids aren’t happy there are disc problems. Kids don’t need to be aggressive, etc. If they feel good, it’s being happy. Focus on helping them feel good. Feel better=do better. Just like a plant, you need to create the right conditions for kids.

Achieving win/win solutions, creating consistency in discipline, and adopting a unified and universal message within the community: How to implement this school-wide, there’s a lot of disconnect. Kids get mixed messages within a school. We often come with limiting beliefs. People are on different pages. Creating unified lang & approach. Everyone is sharing out how to understand each other. Sometimes t-t relationships can be tough. Mistrust, resentment. Eliminate the mixed messages. Create an environment of trust.

We can talk about how some schools have EI training for students so they understand their own behavior. Kids can reflect on their behavior w/ peers, teachers. Want to assert control over self. She tells a story- her kid got a cut, had to go to ER. Needed stitches. Husband wanted to have plastic surgeon come. Scar needed to be massaged every day. Felt like a lot of effort. What was Lorena doing to make sure daughter wasn’t left w/ emotional scar? She works w/ schools to shift the emotional mindset for schools. Pre k-grade 8. Same lesson- asks student s what do you do when you get hurt? Time alone doesn’t do the trick. Schools need to realize they need to actively work on EI. She asks “how do you take care of your emotional injuries?” Failures as Emotional injuries. They don’t know much about taking care of them. There’s a big deficit. You go thru emo injuries every day. Schools should create an emotional first-aid kit. Then they go deeper into brave space. For secondary school-it’s same idea of becoming aware that others deal w/these issues. Kids understand the progression. W/ HS kids go over bigger issues, anxiety, self-harm, etc. work with strategies on how we can cope. Parents/teachers step into bigger role of being kids’ SEL coach. Every adult in the building. Research tells us 80% of kid’s future sucess is mindset and EI.

How to elevate parents’ emotional intelligence. (Emotionally stable, easy parents make your life easier as a school leader!). How to train parents/provide these resources: She has put together a program for parents. They know they should participate in these problems when enroll kids @ school. Families are working w/ kids S/E intelligence @ home. Have parent ed events, such as breakfast after drop out. We can talk about getting them to attend. Don’t just have someone come in for 1 hour talk without follow-up. Events need to be transformational. Need follow-up and follow-through. If they’re confident, happy it makes t’s, admin lives easier. Workshops for parents throughout the year. Schools have events, but attendance is low. It’s random, talk never goes deep, no continuity. Parents receive the same strategies t’s receive @ school.

Key quotes: We set the climate for our classrooms/homes; we have such power. Click To Tweet. Quote “I have come to the frightening conclusion that I am the decisive element. It’s my personal approach that creates the climate. It’s my daily mood that makes the weather. I possess tremendous power to make life miserable or joyous.”  It’s in her book. Her book can be found on amazon.

Where can ppl find you?

Please contact Lorena at hello@lorenaseidel.com  Link to free mini-class: 


Visit  http://www.lorenaseidel.com/

LinkedIn, IG @lorenaseidel 

View this episode on YouTube https://youtu.be/S_TyI8u_bVg


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