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  1. Unfortunately, as a teacher, I am confronted more and more with students that are coming from trauma situations. It is our responsibility to teach the whole child and understanding the impact that trauma has must now become part of our repertoire. This course reminds teachers that creating a reliable, safe environment and helping students feel valued will assist them as they begin to recover from the trauma they have been exposed to.

  2. The video presentation and embedded quizzes provided a wealth of knowledge on how to recognize, help and encourage a student who has been impacted by a trauma. I liked how real-life information and stories were used to help make a connection and how the presenter was able to general her therapy strategies into the classroom for teachers. I also appreciated the quizzes, making sure the content was understood and processed as intended.

  3. I really appreciated the book “Healing Days.” I was very child friendly and can imagine how helpful this book would be for elementary school students who have suffered trauma. A teacher may even keep this in his/her classroom for students to develop empathy for peers who may have suffered from a traumatic event.

    • I agree. Teachers are usually viewed as trusted adults. Unfortunately with teaching demands and so many students it’s difficult to meet the needs of every single child. I think a good place to start would be more mandatory trainings during pre-service days. We usually get the standard refresher course on abuse and neglect but trauma can come in so many more forms.

    • I agree teachers are the first adults children turn to when they struggle, or the first ones to notice they are struggling. More and more demands are placed on teachers in the classroom. As a school counselor, I am a resource for teachers to help them help children deal with mental health. I was happy to hear the presenter consistently encourage teachers to use those resources that are available to them.

  4. The class blog gives us the opportunity to reflect on our learning. As more people take the class and more blogs are written, it will provide an opportunity to read and reflect on the thoughts of others. This will create a deeper dialogue about trauma and teaching those who experience trauma.

    • In addition to a deeper dialogue, I think this would give us a useful way to share resources. Especially strategies for not only helping students but dealing with the additional stress it can place on the staff. Trauma affects everyone involved.

    • It is important for all teachers to become trauma informed, as I agree it affects everyone involved. Professional development courses like this one, or perhaps school in-services targeting these topics are helpful to school staff in their understanding and identification of students who are dealing with trauma in their lives. When everyone receives the same information, they can share strategies and resources that will help students and create an environment that ensures greater success.

  5. The check for understanding quizzes were a quick way to make sure we were understanding the information presented in the video. They helped break up the presentation a little so it didn’t seem too long. The questions were directly related to the presentation content.

    • The check for understanding was a good way to break up the videos. However, I would like to see one added after each video. It was a great deal of information to re-call.

    • I agree, the check for understanding quizzes were a quick way to make sure I was comprehending the information presented in the video too. Although there was a great deal of information covered, I felt it gave me some sense of identifying perhaps the most important take-away. The speaker was also very interesting and easy to listen to and take notes.

    • The check for understanding quizzes were a great way to make sure we were grasping the most important details of the information presented. The presentation had so much detailed information, I felt it was a great way to pause and reflect upon what I was learning. As an educator, the topics presented were very helpful in understanding trauma and how I can best help students.

  6. The video presentation gave lots of information on the effects of trauma and how to deal with trauma in the school environment. The importance of working as a team was stressed. It is in the best interests of the child for the team to share information and come up with an action plan to help the child be successful in school. Knowledge about past trauma helps the teacher understand the child’s reaction to events and allows the teacher to plan how to assist the child in dealing with transitions or dealing with reminders of the trauma.

    • The team approach seems to be the most conducive way for helping these students. In my limited experience in dealing with some of these severe types of trauma, it’s the only way it can really work. But for this to happen, everyone must be on board and expectations and rules have to be implemented across the board.

    • Working with students in a school system is a team effort. An action-oriented plan is must, in my opinion, so school staff knows how to be proactive in helping the child be successful. When school staff has the knowledge and understanding about how trauma can affect students learning and their day to day life, it allows staff to be an “emotional container” for those students.

  7. The “Calmer Classrooms” PDF states that we need to give attention to the attention seeking child of trauma. I struggle with this idea a bit. We’ve been taught to ignore attention seeking behaviors because if attention is given the child will seek more…like an insatiable need. I understand the theory that if a survivor of trauma doesn’t get attention they will soon stop seeking it and become hard to reach. My struggle is with how much attention to give. We all have limits on what we can give and an attention seeking child can demand more than we’re able to handle. I think it would be important to have a team approach to handle this. When one adult is “maxed out,” another could take over. This would allow the child to get the attention they need without completely draining the adult that is with them.

    • I totally agree. Additionally it can sometimes take away to much attention from the rest of the class. I think two simple choices is often the best approach. This does not always have to be an immediate response from the student. There are some simple quick behavior strategies that can be put in place to give students a reasonable amount of time to make the right choice but again limits have to be set and it has to be a team approach.

    • I agree with you. A teacher’s time is spread thin with all the expectations placed on him/her. Additional resources are needed in schools to give these children the attention that they need to be successful. Teachers are having to deal with more and more social/emotional issues in the classroom, along with academics. A team approach is best, in my opinion.

  8. “Healing Days” is a wonderful book to use with children that have experienced trauma. It is written in a way that makes it useful even for very young children to understand. The book can guide discussion and assist in the healing process. As a teacher, I would feel comfortable suggesting the book as a resource to a parent or caregiver looking for help in dealing with a child that has been through trauma. I like that the book isn’t too specific so it can be used for many types of trauma. I especially like the “Safety Plan’ and the “Feel Good Plan” because it gives the children some control.

    • I am happy to have the book, “Healing Days” to use as a resource to work with children who have experienced trauma. It focuses on so many of the thoughts, feelings, and behaviors that children might experience and assures them that they are not alone and someone is here to help them them through it. I love using books with children because it can spark so much discussion and helpful ideas for healing.

  9. The book “Healing Days: A Guide for Kids Who Have Experienced Trauma” was a beautifully written and illustrated book. Seeing a book that talks about their problems can help them feel like they’re not alone. Other children have gone thru this too. Sometimes there is comfort in feeling like you’re not alone.

    • Reading a book like that for a child or anyone for that matter is often a good first step when things are more difficult to discuss or convey certain thoughts or emotions. No one likes to feel alone. Let’s face it there is always safety in numbers.

  10. The required reading “Calmer Classrooms” was very useful in helping teachers know a little more about some of the children in our classes. As a music specialist, I am not usually told anything about the child’s background. I do find that very frustrating. I don’t know who is in foster care until all of a sudden a student is gone, and when I ask about them I’m then told that they went to another foster home. The reading gives me a little insight as to why some kids might not want to please me, or perhaps why some act so much less mature than their peers.

    • As a PE teacher I deal with the same issues. I am given no background information. I will often feel like the child is just being difficult. Then when I ask for information I am often told it’s confidential. When this happens I really want to help but feel like my hands are tied.