By Melanie Kletter, School Library Journal, November 3, 2020
The SLJ Summit's “Trauma-informed Teaching and COVID” panel discussed the varying impact of trauma on students and the need to meet children’s needs, create a positive school environment, and remember self-care, especially in this time of crisis. As difficult as it may be to take on trauma-informed teaching, the onus is on educators to take responsibility for this work, according to principal Matthew Portell.
“We can’t wait for other people to do this work,” said Portell, who brought a trauma-informed approach to Fall-Hamilton Elementary School in Nashville. “It starts with us. We have to be willing to be that disrupter within this realm of education.”
Joining Portell on the panel were Shawn Nealy-Oparah, a trauma-informed education trainer and professor at Mills College, and Lauren Davis, a professor of curriculum and instruction at Montana State University. The panel was moderated by Celeste Malone, a professor and coordinator of the school psychology program at Howard University.