Season 4, Episode 10 of the FocusED School Leadership Podcast with Lorea Martinez

by | Mar 27, 2023 | 0 comments

7 min read

Social and Emotional Learning and Leading with Lorea Martinez

This is Season 4, Episode 10 of FocusED, and it features our guest, Lorea Martinez. It was originally recorded live for a virtual audience in Delaware, and provided as a professional development experience in collaboration with the Delaware Department of Education, the Delaware Academy for School Leadership, and The School House 302. Don’t miss what Lorea Martinez has to say about SEL in schools, including what leaders can do to support staff…and so much more.



Lorea Martinez Brings Tons of Experience to FocusED Listeners

Dr. Lorea Martínez Pérez is the award-winning founder of HEART in Mind Consulting, a company dedicated to helping schools and organizations integrate Social Emotional Learning in their practices, products, and learning communities. She has worked with schools, districts, and organizations to guide SEL implementation efforts, including training teachers and leadership teams, and provided guidance to educational technology and media companies to help them integrate SEL into their products.

An educator who has worked with children and adults internationally, Dr. Martínez is a faculty member at Columbia University Teachers College, educating aspiring principals in Emotional Intelligence. She has conducted extensive research in the SEL field with a focus on SEL implementation, principals’ Emotional Intelligence, teacher preparation, and school climate. She frequently blogs about how to incorporate SEL in teaching practices, leadership, and parenting.

She received her Doctor of Philosophy, magna cum laude, in Quality and Innovation in Education from Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona. In 2014, she was awarded the American Education Research Association Graduate Student Award for Excellence in SEL Research from the SEL Special Interest Group.

Dr. Martínez started her career as a special education teacher and administrator. A native of Costa Brava in Spain, she currently lives in the San Francisco Bay Area with her husband and two daughters.

Buy her book, Teaching with the HEART in Mind: A Complete Educator’s Guide to Social Emotional Learning.

FocusED Show Notes with Lorea Martinez

Don’t miss what Lorea says about teaching SEL: “We wouldn’t let reading teachers teach the skills of reading without knowing how to read well themselves.” 

 Lorea talks about the need to practice SEL in front of students. They don’t just learn because we teach them the skills. They learn because we show them. 

 This conversation doesn’t gloss over the incredible needs in schools today, both socially and academically. 

 Lorea talked about the system changes that need to be made for SEL to work. 

 Dr. Martinez talks about the fact that we’re teaching teachers how to teach students, but we’re ignoring the fact that we also need to help teachers to help themselves. 

 Don’t miss what she says about her HEART acronym. 

 We discuss the need for teachers and leaders to process their emotions so that they don’t come up against a wall when they’ve swallowed them for too long. 

 The E in HEART is “elect your responses,” which is about our behavioral patterns and making better choices than what we do on autopilot. 

 Lorea provides listeners with specific strategies to use. Don’t miss what she says about taking the weather report with popsicle sticks. 

 We discuss the need for leaders to have real conversations about how people feel. 

 We love the fact that she highlights the need for leaders to celebrate and praise the staff. We have to continue to find positive moments and bright spots. 

 Joe follows up to underscore the importance of praise, using our specific praise model, and the way we need to be very intentional about celebrations and individual accomplishments. 

 Lorea tells us about everyone’s tendencies to look at their low scores versus celebrating the strengths we have. 

 Dr. Martinez brings up Six Seconds as a place to go for materials and assessments for leaders who want to improve their emotional intelligence. 

 Lorea mentions two books: Cultivating Kindness: An Educator’s Guide (research about kindness in kids) and Unleashed: The Unapologetic Leader’s Guide to Empowering Everyone Around You (a business book). 

 Joe brings up CASEL and the notion that all of this isn’t new…it just may be new to you! 

 Lorea wishes that someone would study more about adult SEL, specifically about organizational leadership and core values. How are the systems and routines we build embedded with emotional intelligence? 

 We invited Lorea to talk about the course that she created for teachers. Don’t miss what she says about how to use it.

Lorea Martinez Quotes from FocusED

We cannot teach what we don’t practice; the students are always watching. ~ Lorea Martinez 

Educators are great at having empathy for students, but they need to get better at having self-empathy. ~ Lorea Martinez

More Social and Emotional Resources from TheSchoolHouse302

Season 3, Episode 4 of FocusED with Lorea Martinez

Leading Better & Growing Faster w/ Joe & TJ: Thoughts about Supporting SEL in Schools

Our Interview with SEL Expert Thomas Hoerr

Season 3, Episode 2 of FocusED with Jeffrey Benson


Thanks for listening to FocusED, an educational leadership podcast brought to you by TheSchoolHouse302 @ where we publish free leadership content. Go to the site, subscribe, and you’ll get all of our content sent directly to your email. 


FocusED is your educational leadership podcast where our mission is to dissect a particular focus for teachers and school leaders so that you can learn to lead better and grow faster in your school or district with more knowledge, better understanding, and clear direction on what to do next.


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