Rebecca Baelen serves as the new Director of Research and Development for the Center for Reaching & Teaching the Whole Child. She is also an adjunct faculty member at Teachers College, Columbia University. Her research and work in education have focused on developing, testing, and implementing social-emotional learning (SEL) programs, mindfulness-based initiatives, and brief social-psychological interventions designed to support teachers’ social-emotional competencies, adaptive mindsets, and well-being, particularly for early career teachers. In 2020, Rebecca graduated from the University of Pennsylvania’s Education Policy PhD program, where she conducted a field experiment of a brief self-compassion intervention designed to support beginning teachers’ adaptive mindsets and well-being in the transition to teaching. Recently, Dr. Baelen served as a postdoctoral research associate at the University of Illinois at Chicago, where she engaged in efforts to measure educators’ well-being in Israel and Colombia and recently conducted a scoping review to examine the relations between teacher well-being and student well-being and learning. Dr. Baelen spent five years as a classroom teacher in California, New Jersey, and Vietnam. Dr. Baelen was recently named a CASEL Weissberg Scholar and is serving as an Associate Editor for the new Social and Emotional Learning: Research, Practice, and Policy Journal’s Special Issue on Adult Social and Emotional Learning. In her new role at the Center for Reaching & Teaching the Whole Child, Rebecca seeks to support the integration of the Center’s Social, Emotional, and Cultural Anchor Competencies Framework – a Framework that combines a focus on social-emotional learning and culturally responsive/sustaining teaching practice – into teacher preparation and development efforts. She will also be conducting iterative research on the Framework and its implementation to improve future integration and collaborative efforts at the teacher preparation, district, and state level.

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