HERE this NOW founder, Emily Read Daniels was thrilled when Jane Stevens agreed to have PACES Connection endorse and sponsor HTN's 3rd Annual Trauma-Responsive Schools Conference. The conference will address the application of The Polyvagal Theory (science behind how we process trauma in our bodies) in schools for the safe return to in-person learning. The virtual conference, June 1-4, 2021, will host teachers, school administrators, and school specialists from across the U.S. and internationally. The conference will feature two of PACES Connection staff, Ingrid Cockhren (keynote) and Lara Kain.
Why is this important?
When educators and teachers experience a felt sense of safety, teaching and learning can occur. The body is calm, the brain is focused and able to sequentially process information. When students and educators experience activation in their physiological state, fight, flight, or freeze reactions take over. Rational thought, impulse control, and sensory integration diminish. Behaviors occur, patience is tested, learning is interrupted, and safety is gone.
“When you think of school safety you likely think of metal detectors, lockdowns, and since COVID-19, temperature checks and mask wearing. This is NOT the safety this conference is addressing,” explains Emily Read Daniels, founder of HERE this NOW and author of The Regulated Classroom©. “Security measures and health precautions are often regarded as ‘what’s safe’ in schools, but too often these necessary protections signal threat in the felt experience.”
Felt safety, or a felt sense of safety in the body, is a reflection of a regulated physiological state. Currently, students and staff are experiencing unprecedented levels of anxiety and depression due to the collective trauma of the pandemic and its fallout in the classroom.
The Polyvagal Theory has revolutionized the treatment of PTSD, depression, anxiety, and physical ailments. Its relevance is making its way into schools.
“This is the first time I will present at a trauma-informed schools conference,” says Dr. Stephen Porges, creator of the Polyvagal Theory and co-founder of the Polyvagal Institute, “I’m grateful for partners like Emily and HERE this NOW, who bring real-world applications of the Polyvagal Theory.”
The list of presenters includes heavy-hitters like Dr. Stephen Porges, creator of the Polyvagal Theory, Dr. Mona Delahooke, author of the best selling book Beyond Behaviors, and internationally recognized trauma-informed school principal, Mathew Portell.
In addition to an impressive list of presenters, sponsor partners for the conference include Polyvagal Institute, Beau Biden Foundation, PACEs Connection, NH Dept of Ed/Bureau of Student Wellness, Makin’It Happen, CapeAble, ESSDACK, and New Futures.
The virtual conference has been meticulously designed to provide a comprehensive understanding of the application of the Polyvagal Theory in schools in a format that exemplifies the principles of the theory. “In all of our workshops and conferences, we work hard to ensure we are walking our talk,” says Daniels.
HERE this NOW was founded in 2017 by experienced school counselor, Emily Read Daniels. Through her work as a high school student assistance counselor, Daniels witnessed an increasing population of students living with ACEs (Adverse Child Experiences), paired with a woeful lack of awareness and resources. HERE this NOW, LLC is dedicated to bringing workshops, trainings, conferences, and resources to school leaders, educators, and school specialists to advance trauma-informed schools. For more information, visit https://herethisnow.org/