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WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW
"Neurological imaging indicates that several regions of the brain may actually reduce in size as a result of childhood trauma".
McCrory et al., 2010
Being trauma-informed is a hot topic in professional development these days. Implementing what you learn about trauma-informed teaching practices takes time and patience with both yourself and the student(s). It also will look slightly different for every educator due to the plethora of learners within their own unique classrooms.
Increasing your awareness and knowledge on trauma and the brain is a great first step...
"Our physical body holds on to trauma"
~ Jessica Goh
What is the stress response and what does it have to do with my students who have had exposure to trauma?
Having an understanding of the brain’s stress response gives us, as teachers, an expansive lens with which to view the behaviours and reactions of students who have undergone trauma
What is attachment style and what does it have to do with my students who have had exposure to trauma?
BRAIN BOOKS WE L VE
"The parts of the brain that have evolved to monitor for danger remain overactivated (in people that have experienced trauma) and even the slightest sign of danger, real or misperceived, can trigger an acute stress response accompanied by intense unpleasant emotions and overwhelming sensations." - Van der Kolk, 2014
HOW CAN I SUPPORT MY STUDENTS?
It is tempting to jump to action words such as implementation or intervention, for example, but we must not forget that relationship- building exercises are crucial to how a student can feel seen and heard.
Teach them about their own brain and feelings
Take care of yourself
Consider giving them choice - Britt Frank says it so well
Remember that trauma and its effects can happen to anyone at any time and manifest in different ways. Believe your students.
Check out the books we love
Create or build upon school community programs that normalize trauma-sensitive practices