10 Things About Childhood Trauma Every Teacher Needs to Know [WeAreTeachers.com]

 

With grief, sadness is obvious. With trauma, the symptoms can go largely unrecognized because it shows up looking like other problems: frustration, acting out, difficulty concentrating, following directions or working in a group. Often students are misdiagnosed with anxiety, behavior disorders or attention disorders, rather than understanding the trauma that’s driving those symptoms and reactions.

For children who have experienced trauma, learning can be a big struggle. 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. Detroit-based clinical director of the National Institute for Trauma and Loss in Children, a program of the Starr Global Learning Network, Caelan Kuban Soma offers these tips for understanding kids who have been through trauma, plus strategies for helping them.

1. Kids who have experienced trauma aren’t trying to push your buttons.
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 is causing them to worry. Instead of reprimanding children for being late or forgetting homework, be affirming and accommodating by...

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Wow! How amazingly powerful it would be if every teacher were aware of these! Thank you so much for sharing this invaluable resource! And, of course, having administrators, and all others on campus be aware, as well is crucial!

Such an important article. I wish all teachers read this. I wish all schools held professional development workshops on this subject. Children do not know how to articulate or put into narrative form their trauma. They so often feel as though what's happening to them is their fault, that they deserve their suffering. This insight and knowledge should also be shared with all coaches as they work closely with young people and far too many believe that strictness, punishing, even humiliating is how to achieve athletic achievement and wins. I can't even begin to imagine the increase in a child's suffering. Teachers and coaches should capitalize on the opportunity to be healers of trauma. 

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