Social & Emotional Learning Conference - April 15, 2022

Social and Emotional Learning Conference

Building Empathy, Compassion and Mindfulness in Schools

Join us at the first Social and Emotional Learning (SEL) Conference offered on the University of Northern Iowa campus on Friday April 15, 2022 from 8 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. CST.

With the pandemic spotlighting the need for greater understanding of social and emotional learning and behavioral health in our classrooms, we're ready to begin the conversation on "what's next?" Be ready to be part of the dialogue as we explore ways to promote the social, emotional and behavioral health of children and educators in ways that advance equity and excellence in education.  

Keynote speakers include:

  • Patricia Jennings, internationally recognized leader in the field of social emotional learning and mindfulness in education and author of “The Trauma Sensitive Classroom and Mindfulness for Teachers”

  • Susan Verde,  mindfulness teacher, yoga instructor and author (I AM series)

  • Peter H. Reynolds, writer, storyteller and illustrator of many children’s books (The Dot, Word Collector, Be You), as well as illustrator for the I AM series of early literacy books  to enrich children’s social emotional development

As an educator, this conference will help empower you to implement Iowa’s Social and Emotional Learning Competencies in ways that lead to inclusive, responsive and trauma-sensitive classrooms and promote educator self-care. Local, state and national experts will lead breakout sessions focusing on topics including: 

  • Deepening knowledge of social and emotional learning competencies, trauma-sensitive practices and self-regulatory behaviors
  • Promoting teachers' own social and emotional competencies and teacher self-care
  • Creating classrooms where students feel safe, connected and engaged in learning
  • Using literature, mindfulness and compassion-based interventions and other strategies to support social and emotional learning

Hosted by the UNI College of Education, the conference will be held on site on UNI's campus with an online option for the keynote speakers at a reduced rate (see registration). Free to UNI faculty, staff and students. 

Who should attend: Teachers, school counselors, school psychologists, school administrators and anyone who works with youth and children in the community! 

LOCATION UPDATE:  For those attending on site, the registration, welcome and keynote speaker sessions will be held at the Maucker Union Ballroom on the UNI campus. The remainder of the conference will be in rooms within the Schindler Education Center at UNI. 


Patricia Jennings

Patricia Jennings

Patricia Jennings (The Trauma Sensitive Classroom and Mindfulness for Teachers) is an internationally recognized leader in the fields of social and emotional learning and mindfulness in education and Professor of Education at the School of Education and Human Development at the University of Virginia.

Keynote Time: 8:10-9-10 a.m. CST

Talk Topic: Trauma Sensitive Practices: Building Resilience with Mindfulness and Compassion

Susan Verde

Susan Verde

Susan Verde is an internationally recognized author who teamed up with Peter Reynolds to write a series of books to use to support the SEL of young children. (I Am Human; I Am Love; I Am Peace; I Am Yoga; I Am One; I Am Courage).

Keynote Time: 9:20 -10:30 a.m. CST

Talk Topic: Cultivating Self-love and Empathy 

Peter Reynolds

Peter H. Reynolds

Peter H. Reynolds is a writer, storyteller and illustrator of many children’s books (The Dot, Be You, Word Collector), as well as illustrator for the I AM series of early literacy books to enrich children’s social emotional development.
Keynote Time: 9:20 -10:30 a.m. CST

Talk Topic: Cultivating Self-love and Empathy 

‌7:30-8:00 a.m. Registration
Maucker Union Ballroom

8:00-8:10 a.m. Welcome!
Maucker Union Ballroom

8:10-9:10 a.m. Keynote Speaker
Maucker Union Ballroom

9:20-10:30 a.m. Keynote Speaker
Maucker Union Ballroom

10:30-10:50 a.m. Break
Travel from Maucker Union to Schindler Education Center

10:50—11:40 a.m. Breakout Session 1
Remainder of conference at Schindler Education Center

11:40-12:30 a.m. Lunch
Susan Verde/Peter H. Reynolds & Patricia Jennings Book Signing

12:30-1:20 p.m. Breakout Session 2

1:20-1:30 p.m. Break

1:30-2:20 p.m. Breakout Session 3

2:20-2:30 p.m. Break

2:30-3:20 p.m. Breakout Session 4

3:20-3:30 p.m. Thank You!

Registration for the Social & Emotional Learning Conference has now closed. 

SEL Registration

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