There’s been a lot of talk in the news lately about natural disasters, terrorist attacks and domestic violence. These events can have a great impact on our students. While some events don’t directly affect your students, others will have direct exposure to a traumatic event. In fact, research shows one in four U.S. students will witness or experience a traumatic event before the age of 4, and more than two-thirds by age 16. (Source: How Schools Are Helping Traumatized Students Learn Again)
Experiencing any type of traumatic event from the death of a parent to a catastrophic natural disaster can have an impact on the child’s brain, affecting memory retention, emotional regulation and language development. (You can learn more about the science behind this at: https://changingmindsnow.org/healing) Naturally, these children have a hard time in school. Your role as a teacher is extremely significant for helping these children achieve success, but what can you do? Where do you start?
We’ve put together a list of resources to help you navigate the challenges teaching children who have experienced trauma.
Helping Children Cope with Frightening Events…What You Can Do! – The program clearly defines and illustrates the most typical symptoms children exhibit, then it shows activities and steps educators can take to help children cope and overcome the trauma of the event. Available on DVD or CD and includes a 40 page guide.
National Child Traumatic Stress Network Website – http://www.nctsn.org/
10 Things About Childhood Trauma Every Teacher Needs to Know – https://www.weareteachers.com/10-things-about-childhood-trauma-every-teacher-needs-to-know/
Trauma Sensitive Schools Website – https://traumasensitiveschools.org/
Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration: Resources for Parents and Educators – https://www.samhsa.gov/capt/tools-learning-resources/coping-traumatic-events-resources
Changing Minds Now Website – https://changingmindsnow.org/healing
NEA Handbook: Teaching Children from Poverty and Trauma – https://www.nea.org/assets/docs/20200_Poverty%20Handbook_flat.pdf