I’m new to the Ace Connection.  I’m excited to be a member.

Question:  I am pursuing a Master’s Degree in Education Administration.  I would like to do my master’s thesis’s on teachers’ personal ACE score and their perception of discipline practices in schools.  Does anyone know of research that addresses these issues (or something simliar)? Thanks in advance!

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So, I googled  your question and it is interesting that everyone out there in cyberspace is getting on the bandwagon and dealing with children's ACEs (especially teachers, schools and school districts), but if, according to ACEs studies, 2/3 of adults have at least 1 ACE, your question has a lot of validity!  I would suspect (from some incidences that have happened at local schools) that many of the people who are teaching our children, also, in fact, have a number of ACEs themselves, and should be learning how to handle their own trauma, before they inflict it on the children of the future.  This is a fantastic extrapolation;  and I don't think there are many stats, yet...you may have to create some surveys on your own, perhaps starting with your own professors!  I wish you luck!

HI Alma - great to meet you yesterday!  You may also want to post this question to the ACEs in Education community .. some folks are not active on the home site but are more active in that community.  The folks working to create trauma informed &  sensitive schools may have more info for you.  Sure sounds like a great Masters thesis!

Hello Alma,

This will be a great research project. While I don't have any stats for you, I can talk anecdotally that you will likely find high numbers. My colleague, Chris Swenson-Smith and I have taught approximately 700 local educators in the past several years on ACEs, how trauma commonly presents in the classroom, and trauma-informed schools (and vicarious trauma). Based on responses to these presentations, I think that you can expect high numbers. As is true in many of the child helping professions, those with high ACEs can gravitate to teaching. Many of those with high ACES found their significant adults/resiliency in teachers. Once your research is complete, I will be highly interested in reading and using your data.

Hello, I am a new member to this forum as well and have had training in childhood trauma and its effects years ago. However, I  have seen firsthand a significant disconnection in K -12 teachers and their awareness of trauma-informed practices and just like you Alma, I am doing my MA thesis on these practices and teacher awareness to build curriculums in schools. I have found that the word trauma has a stigma to it in itself and therefore it alters an educators mind to think TRAUMA is not my specialty. Working in the education field for 20 years, I have seen that behaviors arise and students are 1) either sent to the principals office 2) suspended or 3) referred to the school psychologist, but in reality all three steps could have been avoided with a simple trauma-informed practice activity to build resiliency not only in the child with behavior issues but also for the whole class. There is an abundance of research on this topic I wish schools would change some policies and bring awareness to the importance of these practices in schools. I look forward to reading feedback from everyone. 

Teachers and their own ACEs score... very relevant. Have you heard of the Badass Teachers Association? Please find us (we have a blog and very very active FB groups)... We started work on workplace bullying in October, 2014, after we learned of four teachers who took their lives in less than ten days. Since that first secret conference call between several deeply hurting teachers, and Randi Weingarten (President of the American Federation of Teachers), we have developed a grass roots Quality of Work life Survey and much more  (naysayers said it was too long - 82 items- but 90,000 started it and 31,000+ finished it. It got national coverage in May, 2015.

Next, two US senators co-authored an amendment in ESSA- as a result, local district/communities can now access Title II funds and look at their school community’s work/school life. 

Then, we met with senior USDOE advisors and shared the first QWL survey/results. There literally were tears in the conference room after we presented... 

Now? Our second survey was conducted with AFT, BATs, and CDC/NIOSH participation. Our QWL team now has many academics/researchers along with teachers who are really interested in mental health. 

Please connect. This could be something that could help teachers, school board members, administrators and communities.





Thanks, Sandy for the information and resources. I am so happy you are all starting this grassroots movement that is vital for all of many of us to understand when working with children and families!! This topic is critical as you said there are many of us professionals no matter what level that may have endured or are enduring some trauma and answered yes to one or several of the ACE questions. Bringing this awareness and practicing resiliency activities with the children can make a significant impact, as well as creating a connection which some students genuinely crave. I commend you and your co-workers for taking the steps necessary to transform minds and stand up to advocate. Often our student's families see us as professionals and think we have perfect lives and raised in perfect homes, but demonstrating authenticity and bringing awareness that trauma takes place at all levels and that no one is perfect can make a difference. Again, thank you for the information and your grassroots works!! There is still so much work to be done, and I commend you. Way to go!!!

This is so helpful!  I am looking forward to connecting with teachers to let them know I have experience with Trauma and can provide Coaching for them both as a person and a professional.  Sandy I will view your facebook page and see if I can post something there... please let me know the best way to support our teachers and therefore our students and families and communities ---  we are all connected! 

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Karen Clemmer (ACEs Connection Staff)
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