Reply to "Documentaries on Trauma"

Rennik,

For me the problem with the model they used is that they were not honest with the students. It is like Santa Clause - with this character that they all write to - and get answers back. Many of these students have had plenty of lies in their life - and plenty of "characters" disappear.  Not necessary. It is also a limited approach - true, it gives them a safe space to share their concerns.... and there are many more tools and skills that could/should be part of the menu: self regulation, respect for self and others, mistakes are opportunities to learn, how to make a repair, helpful not hurtful, empathy, respecting differences - to name a few. Tools that focus on strengths, and lift out the inherent human beingness of each student. These are all learned best in community - so how the teacher leads the community, invites voice and authentic student agency is important. We use Positive Discipline, which invites community and skill building through a series of exercises - and then gets applied regularly (3x/week) through very structured class meetings. Our experience is that students really develop authentic voice and agency. (and we are in the process of setting up the study).

The other concern is that it really is aimed at elementary kids. (No self respecting teen would play that game.) Trauma informed practices are more than helping kids feel good. They are about creating space and community for them to claim their identity in ways that contribute to their own and the common good.

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