A Guide to Trauma-Informed Teaching

January 6, 2023

Any traumatic experience can leave an unforgettable impact on people, affecting all their activities, including learning. Analyzing and implementing trauma informed teaching for kids is essential for helping them get the best learning experience while better handling their trauma.

Understanding how trauma can affect learning and behavior is the first step in implementing trauma informed teaching. With this strategy, educators consider what the behavior of the students may be trying to teach them. They also reflect on their teaching strategies to identify better ways to support kids who could be going through trauma.

As per the National Council for Behavioral Health, 70% of Americans have undergone a trauma of varying severity. With the world descending into a state of collective grief over the lost lives due to the pandemic, the number of people undergoing trauma continues to increase with the rise of COVID-19 and all its impacts, including the global recession, feelings of uncertainty, and isolation.

Trauma and Learning: Their Relationship

It is frequently noted that trauma and learning are related, affecting general behavior, attention span, and learning capacity. It's uncertain whether trauma's effects would cause lifelong difficulties or perhaps give rise to additional learning problems. A trauma-informed learning environment, however, is essential for kids struggling with trauma.

Signs of Trauma in Kids

Understanding and analyzing trauma in kids help teachers better support the students' emotional and educational needs. But how to know if a student is going through it?

The first step in the process is spotting changes in students' behavior, which signifies that something is abnormal. The signs in students are evident within just a few days at school, including the following:

  • Aggression or negative outbursts
  • Overreactions
  • Appearing sad frequently
  • The trouble with focus and studies

The Value of Education that Is Trauma-Informed

Each student must be allowed to realize their full potential, which requires implementing this form of teaching. But it's equally crucial for assisting instructors in performing their duties successfully.

Here is how trauma informed teaching affects the students and the teachers involved:

  • For students, it offers security and demonstrates that teachers care about them.
  • For teachers, it can help them connect better with each student and be more aware of how the student's past experiences may influence the learning process.

It may also offer a collection of resources and instructions on handling various circumstances.

Educational Application

A significant component of trauma-informed teaching is self-regulation. Many things trauma-informed schools and classrooms can do to support kids with self-regulation. The entire class can use the following suggestions:

  • Establishing relationships with students in the classroom through holding regular check-ins or morning meetings.
  • A community-based mentoring program for adolescents who are most at risk.
  • A tranquil area in the classroom where students can retreat if they need to relax.
  • Regular instruction or talks on emotion control.
  • A rise in the number of school counselors.
  • A calm atmosphere inside the school and techniques to promote de-escalation.
  • Assigning pupils to a dependable adult in the building who can serve as their go-to "safe spot" when necessary.
  • Inviting a therapy dog to the classroom or visiting certain students.
  • Guided meditation or yoga.
  • Lots of outdoor activities and break time.

Although some of these techniques call for systemic change, you can make many adjustments in your classroom to support trauma-informed teaching.

Conclusion

To ensure that students who have experienced trauma in the past learn well, trauma-informed education is essential. Recall one of the most critical aspects of altering how you see and deal with your students' problems.

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