Date of Award

Winter 12-14-2019

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctorate of Education, Ed.D.


College of Education



First Advisor

Barbara Weschke, Ph.D.

Second Advisor

Amanda Sailors, Ph.D.

Third Advisor

Tony Goss, Ed.D.


The purpose of this phenomenological study was to explore the lived experiences of teachers in supporting students who encounter social and emotional learning (SEL) challenges in the classroom. This study examined if and how SEL competencies were implemented by teachers in supporting students experiencing SEL challenges in the classroom. SEL was the framework used during this research. A total of 10 teachers from an urban school located in a southern state were selected to represent the population for this study. Data were collected via face-to-face individual semistructured interviews with all participants. Participants were asked to share personal artifacts of successful SEL strategies used with students in the classroom. Although some participants had no knowledge of the terminology associated with SEL competencies, all participants used strategies that were closely related to SEL competencies. This study suggests that SEL skills must be taught to students at school and these skills should be incorporated into the everyday process of academic learning in a classroom. However, to successfully implement SEL competencies within a classroom, teachers must be trained in implementing these competencies.