Trauma begets trauma. Be Specific About Relationship Building. Below are tips for teachers … Tips for Teachers . For students in temporary housing, a safe and supportive environment includes sensitivity to the stress and trauma that often accompanies homelessness. Soma offers these tips for understanding kids who have been through trauma and the strategies that can help them. There is a direct connection between lowering stress and academic outcomes.”. But once trauma is identified as the root of the behavior, we can adapt our approach to help kids cope when they’re at school. Starr Commonwealth Chief Clinical Officer Dr. Caelan Soma offers these tips for understanding kids who have been through trauma and the strategies that can help them. After reading our brief synopsis on trauma below, keep reading to learn tips that are absolutely essential for anyone working with trauma. For all students with trauma, you can ask them directly what you can do to help. It is equally important to know how to work with their guardians as it is important to teach the... Resources for teachers, parents, and students to help deal with stress and changes during the pandemic, Discover the importance of social-emotional learning and activities to promote empathy in the classroom, Best practices for resiliency and self-care for teachers, Strategies and tools to implement the trauma-informed approach in classrooms and schools, Cultivating Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion, Resources to help build an equitable classroom environment where diversity and inclusion is appreciated, Learn the best ways of adapting technology to be useful in your classroom environment, Strategies, tips, and teaching concepts to help teachers succeed in the classroom, Insightful content to help you design the ultimate curriculum – for on-campus and online teaching, The best ways to implement self-care and resilience that are relevant to teachers, Helpful content addressing the needs of higher education professionals for online teaching, The latest trends and challenges in education, Read the latest published articles on Resilient Educator, By Get Relevant Teaching Content and Updates Delivered Directly to Your Inbox. “Being a teacher is a stressful enough job, but teachers are now responsible for a lot more things than just providing education,” says LeAnn Keck, a manager at Trauma Smart, an organization that partners with schools and early childhood programs to help children and the adults in their lives navigate trauma. These kids often mask their pain with behaviour that is aggressive and off-putting. Kids who have experienced trauma aren’t trying to push your buttons. Bethesda, MD: National Association of School Psychologists. See more ideas about teaching, teaching tips, classroom behavior. Recommended Citation: NASP School Safety and Crisis Response Committee. “Typically there is something underneath that driving that to happen, so be sensitive. […] The situation is something they have no control over, feeling that their life or safety is at risk,” says Soma. Click or Tap the Button Below. When trauma causes emotional or psychological damage to children, they may adopt a set of behaviors or patterns of thinking that put them on a path for further trauma. Break through trauma and the barriers to learning with 10 Steps to Create a Trauma-Informed Resilient School. Add to that, the stresses caused by COVID-19, adjustments for distance learning, and increasing political turmoil. “Stick with what you are seeing now—the hurt, the anger, the worry,” Soma says, rather than getting every detail of the child’s story. Innovative Solutions Full Menu Expert Tips for Trauma-Informed Teaching. The final one stands out the most as it makes reference to the idea of in the event a plane is going down you must put on your oxygen mask first before helping others. …Even when the student is acting defiant or disrespectful and you’re out of patience. Find strength in resiliency narratives. As teachers are the adults who see students for the longest periods of time throughout the day, they play a critical role in recognizing the symptoms of trauma and treating it at the classroom level. For more details about each of these tips, read our article about defining your virtual classroom culture. Try not to judge the childhood trauma. Working with individuals who have experienced a traumatic event can make someone more susceptible to secondary traumatic stress. According to University of Texas Psychology professor and social psychological researcher James Pennebaker , reflective writing activities can make it easier for students to build emotional intelligence and resilience. In other words, if you’re working with kids who are coping with trauma, there’s a chance it could affect you too. Take … Severe physical harm or injury, including sexual assault. Are any of your students exhibiting one or more of these signs? Yes, I Want to Help My Students Who Experienced Trauma, Copyright © 2020. Find time to meet with each student every day. Teachers play a critical role in creating a classroom environment that is safe and supportive for all students. This decreases the stress and uncertainty caused by classroom activity transitions and the roll-out of assignments. That’s why it’s so important to take care of yourself — a healthy teacher is a more effective teacher. The result is the inability to self-soothe, so they may develop distracting behaviors and have trouble staying focused for long periods. A daily routine in the classroom can be calming, so try to provide structure and predictability whenever possible. This isn’t your typical teacher blog – I don’t have Pinterest worthy bulletin boards to show you or amazing, creative lesson plans or the latest and greatest of teacher fashion! When these changes are sudden, it’s especially telling that a student may be experiencing traumatic life events. In their roles as clinicians, scientists, teachers and community members, mental health professionals can make a difference in the way our society responds to child trauma. Instead of focusing on the specifics of a traumatic situation, concentrate on the support you can give children who are suffering. Learn more and look inside the book. For example, sharing a clear agenda for the day’s learning makes a student aware of what’s ahead and expected, giving them time to get comfortable. As teachers are the adults who see students for the longest periods of time throughout the day, they play a critical role in recognizing the symptoms of trauma and treating it at the classroom level. Normalcy is profoundly healing and comforting, particularly for students who do not feel in control of their lives. Behaviour-specific praise (using the child’s name, … Set the TONE – you need to use the environment to regulate the brain. It’s about getting to the root of a student’s triggers, underlying issues, and motives, teaching healthy communication skills,” says Gina Angelillo-Farieri, a Restorative Justice Coordinator in the New York City Department of Education. Students who experience trauma can feel triggered by a lack of clear structures, boundaries, and routines. Besides explaining how the day will unfold, have signs or a storyboard that shows which activity—math, reading, lunch, recess, etc.—the class will do and when. To help them cope, you can schedule regular brain breaks. Subscribe Today! Being a teacher of a special child, you should also know how to deal with their parents. Safety Conduct a meeting on the first day of class that lays out clear … With trauma, the symptoms can go largely unrecognized because they mimic other problems: frustration; acting out; or difficulty concentrating, following directions, or working in a group. If a child is having trouble with transitions or turning in a folder at the beginning of the day, remember that children may be distracted because of a situation at home that causes them to worry. Even meeting … If a child is having trouble with … This article by Joyce Dorado (2013) provides 5 really simple tips that any teacher can do address trauma in the classroom. “When well taught and when practiced regularly, [mindfulness] has been shown to be capable of improving mental health and well-being, mood, self-esteem, self-regulation, positive behavior, and academic learning,” according to research by Katherine Weare, Professor Emeritus of Education at the University of Southampton (2013). Tip sheet for parents and teachers on recognizing trauma Joel Fein Member One of our local schools is looking for a very brief tip sheet on how a parent (or teacher) can detect a child suffering from trauma. Teaching students to recognize negative emotions, pause, and process them before they manifest into negative behaviors also builds coping skills and reduces the need for disciplinary measures. “Relying solely on punishment leaves out the important and healing lessons that students of trauma so desperately need.”. Trauma and Children – Tips for Parents For parents, helping their child through a traumatic experience can be emotional, confusing, and scary. 8 Tips for Working with Parents of Special Needs Children. In addition, a number of interventions provided in schools have shown effectiveness in working with children exposed to violence. Prioritise health and wellbeing. “It is more common than we think.”. According to the National Child Traumatic Stress Network, children experiencing traumatic stress can have difficulty self-regulating emotions, may be aggressive, skittish, impulsive, or require extra attention while simultaneously remaining fearful of new or unfamiliar situations or people. “We have to remember it’s the perception of the child. Preparing Trauma-Sensitive Teachers: Strategies for Teacher Educators Connie Honsinger, Ph.D Chesterfield County Public Schools Mavis Hendricks Brown, Ph.D. University of Richmond Abstract Many children who attend school have or will experience some type of trauma that may impact cognition, behavior, and relationships (Van Der Kolk, 2014). Use … Restorative practices rebuild a traumatized student’s relationship to authority and to the adults and peers in their daily lives. Seek restorative practices vs. zero tolerance in the classroom (when possible). This video highlights five of the important things educators should know about childhood trauma and tells us what we can do to help our students who are suffering. By using these brief and effective interventions in the form of the five steps of PFA (Listen, Protect, Connect, Model, and Teach), schools can provide a long-lasting, positive influence on trauma-related stress. Expert Tips for Trauma-Informed Teaching: Plus Innovative Ideas for Anxiety, Work Refusal, Depression, Bullying & Other Student Emotional & Behavioral Problems. A collection of resources curated by the ISTE COVID-19 SEL working group, Education Week’s four-part series on culturally responsive instruction and Resilient Educator’s tips on trauma-informed teaching also provide incredibly useful strategies. We need to be intentional to promote safe environments that cultivate connectedness, $10,000 IN PRIZES! Adults often want to “fix” things, when a student just wants to be heard … When kids are stressed, it’s tough for them to learn. Assign them jobs in the classroom that they can do well or let them be a peer helper to someone else. You don’t have to dig deep into the trauma to be able to effectively respond with empathy and flexibility. The good news: beyond these tips below, there are professional development opportunities that can greatly help you support your students (and yourself). Additionally, offering a student some choices throughout the day gives them a sense of dominion, developing a mending sense of self-control over their environment. Tips on Creating a Trauma-Informed Classroom The following classroom ideas were developed for K-12 teachers using SAMHSA’s six key principles for a trauma-informed approach to education. “Kids who have experienced trauma have difficulty learning unless they feel safe and supported,” says Soma. These practices also apply to virtual classrooms. Trauma is often associated with violence, but kids can also suffer trauma from a variety of situations—like divorce, a move, or being overscheduled or bullied. They may ask to listen to music with headphones or put their head on their desk for a few minutes. For children who have experienced trauma, learning can be a big struggle. This blog is a little bit different from most because I want to provide you with hope. A comprehensive list of traumatic stress symptoms can be found in the NCTSN Toolkit for Educators. “Switch your mindset and remember the kid who has experienced trauma is not trying to push your buttons,” says Soma. (2015). 10 Tips for Teaching the Psychological First Aid Model for … What can you do in the classroom to … “The more the teacher can do to make the child less anxious and have the child focus on the task at hand, the better the performance you are going to see out of that child. Instead of reprimanding students when they are late or forget their homework, affirm and accommodate them by establishing a visual cue or verbal reminder to help that child. After reading our brief synopsis on trauma below, keep reading to learn tips that are absolutely essential for anyone working with trauma. We must be able to recognize trauma in ourselves and our students. Trauma can be broken down into these eight categories, according to the work of Bonnie L. Green, PhD, Professor Emeritus of Psychiatry at Georgetown University (Wilson & Sigman, 2000/Green, 1993): For young students, traumatic stress can severely impact a student’s ability to learn, function in social environments, or manage their emotions and behaviors. Nearly half of the children in the United States, or almost 35 million kids, have experienced “at least one or more types of serious childhood trauma,” according to a survey by the National Survey of Children’s Health (NSCH). Supporting Students Experiencing Childhood Trauma - Tips for Parents and Educators. Becoming a trauma-informed educator means becoming more acutely aware of how trauma alters the lens through which its victims see their world, and building practices that honor that reality. Ideas, Inspiration, and Giveaways for Teachers. 1. “Anything that keeps our nervous system activated for longer than four to six weeks is defined as post-traumatic stress,” says Soma. Trauma-Informed Pedagogy requires having an awareness of our students’ past and present experiences and the effects of those experiences on students’ well-being and their ability to engage with the materials and learn. Witnessing or learning of violence to a loved one. 6 Armstrong Road | Suite 301 | Shelton, CT | 06484, Commonwealth Chief Clinical Officer Dr. Caelan. You’ll learn ways that trauma impacts students and what we can do to support kids without carrying the weight of that trauma ourselves. “If you build it in before the behavior gets out of whack, you set the child up for success,” says Soma. For educators, trauma can be particularly challenging. Tips for Teachers and Classroom Resources, 101 Trauma-Informed Interventions: Activities, Exercises and Assignments to Move the Client and Therapy Forward, Teaching to Strengths: Supporting Students Living with Trauma, Violence, and Chronic Stress, Mindful Teaching and Teaching Mindfulness: A Guide for Anyone Who Teaches Anything, Implementing Restorative Practice in Schools: A Practical Guide to Transforming School Communities, Trauma-Informed Best Practices in Schools, Stress Responses: Teaching Resilience for Trauma and Everyday Crises, Powerful Resources for Teaching Through Trauma or Tragedy, Activities for Teaching Tolerance in the Classroom, Trauma-Informed Strategies to Use in Your Classroom, Teaching Licensure & Certification Per State. With grief, sadness is obvious. Teaching is emotional labor, so here are some ways for trauma-informed educators to cope, care for themselves, and prevent burnout. Create a safe, accepting environment in your classroom by letting children know you understand their situation and support them. This week on the Truth for Teachers podcast, I’m giving you an overview of and a solid foundation for understanding trauma-informed teaching practices. The Editorial Team. Kids with trauma are often difficult, erratic, and unable to appropriately express what they are experiencing. Be gentle. Ask yourself, ‘I wonder what’s going on with that kid?’ rather than saying, ‘What’s wrong with the kid?’ That’s a huge shift in the way we view kids.”. Students are often misdiagnosed with anxiety, behavior disorders, or attention disorders rather than understood to have trauma that drives those symptoms and reactions. Listen and validate honestly. Students with traumatic backgrounds benefit from clear boundaries and limitations, coupled with a restorative approach to discipline, rather than a punitive one. As caring teachers, we may unintentionally project that a situation isn’t really that bad, but how the child feels about the stress is what matters most. Privacy is a big issue in working with students suffering from trauma, and schools often have a confidentiality protocol that teachers must follow. Traumatic events can have a lasting impact on your students. Working trauma-adjacent Educators who work with students impacted by trauma run the risk of experiencing secondary traumatic stress, also referred to as compassion fatigue or vicarious trauma. Watch for New Tips to Be Added Regularly! Teacherfy empowers educators with the best classroom ideas, advice, discuss teaching strategies, share resources, inspiration and laughs all year round with the funniest teacher humor, classroom ideas & inspiring thoughts. Cultivate Trust. Traumatized students require explicit emotional training to regulate their emotions, process stress, and heal from their experiences. Welcome to The Trauma Informed Teacher blog. Understanding the nuances of trauma can make teachers more equipped to support students during difficult times. Trauma undermines attention, executive functioning and working memory. Because trauma is such a sensory experience, kids need more than encouragement—they need to feel their worth through concrete tasks. Want to Help Your Students Who Experienced Trauma? All rights reserved. If you are an educator of children with special needs, it could be more demanding than teaching normal children. “Set them up to succeed and keep that bar in the zone where you know they are able to accomplish it and move forward.” Rather than saying a student is good at math, find experiences to let them feel it. Since words may not sink in for children who go through trauma, they need other sensory cues, says Soma. Ideally they should receive counseling, but on the classroom level, social-emotional learning can include things like meditation, breathing exercises, and mindfulness practices that provide students with time to pause and reflect on their emotional state. Break through trauma and the barriers to learning with 10 Steps to Create a Trauma-Informed Resilient School , a step-by-step guide for teachers from Starr Commonwealth. According to the Treatment and Services Adaptation Center, awareness is the key to managing secondary traumatic stress. Teachers may also notice physiological symptoms of trauma such as appetite issues, weight changes, exhaustion, frequent illness, or poor hygiene. A child may be able to make it through a 20-minute block of work if they know there will be a break to recharge before the next task. “All kids, especially in this day and age, experience extreme stress from time to time,” says Soma. Trauma-Informed Care for Children Exposed to Violence: "Tips for Teachers" Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention. HOLIDAY GIVEAWAYS FOR TEACHERS, Classroom Coding & Robotics … Everything You Need to Get Started, Protected: Classroom Talk-to-Text Project, 20 Retro School Supplies Every ’80s and ’90s Kid Loved, Join the WeAreTeachers Influencer Network. Poverty, violence, hunger, abuse, and an unstable world are causing chronic stress for our nation’s kids. Linsey Hay, headteacher of Craigton Primary: Our school curriculum … Is there something I can do to make you feel even a little bit better? Restorative circles, team-building exercises, meditations, and counseling can all reform a traumatized student’s belief in fairness, as well as their capacity for conducting themselves with integrity. Trauma-Informed Care for Children Exposed to Violence Tips for Teachers What happens when children are exposed to violence? It may not be a singular event but rather the culmination of chronic stress—for example, a child who lives in poverty may worry about the family being able to pay rent on time, keep their jobs, or have enough food. Managing traumatic stress can be incredibly challenging, especially when symptoms are unpredictable and make it difficult to function. May 29, 2019 - Explore The Trauma Informed Teacher's board "Teaching Tips", followed by 881 people on Pinterest. This article from the Australian government’s Better Health program provides helpful tips to share with parents that walk them through the process and help determine when to seek professional help. They recommend regular small group check-ins, regular exercise, a healthy diet, and sufficient sleep. Soma says, “We have to step back and ask them, ‘How can I help? 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