Welcome to What’s the T(rauma)!
We’re so excited to have you here! This is where you get information and classroom resources to create trauma-informed classrooms, schools, and districts!
The teaching world has a lot of buzzwords flying around, all of which seem to feed into the latest mandatory professional development opportunity. Some of the common ones we’re hearing these days are social-emotional learning, mental health, and classroom management.
Although there is nothing inherently wrong with these professional development topics, they miss an important aspect of creating safer learning environments that meet the needs of both students, and teachers.
This is where trauma informed teaching comes in!
What is trauma informed teaching?
Trauma Informed Teaching acknowledges that people’s history of trauma and ongoing experience of trauma has an impact on their behaviors and the way they relate to the world. It has an awareness of Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACE’s), and how trauma impacts personal, social and cognitive development. Trauma informed teaching is an understanding that our students’ perspective on the world, and therefore their behaviour in our classes, is filtered through their lived experience and innate ability to identify and find safety for themselves.
Why do you need trauma informed teaching?
Classroom management is a common complaint in the teaching world. It often stems from “unmanageable” behaviours and not knowing how to deal with these behaviours. Are these behaviours unmanageable? Or are they a manifestation of something else happening for your student? And have we just not been taught effective means of managing them?
Tell us if this feels like something you’ve experienced:
A student “acts up,” so you respond by asserting the class expectations. The student’s behaviour escalates, which causes you to also escalate discipline, such as sending them out of the room, sending them to the office, taking away a privilege, making them move seats, or calling your administrator. This inevitably over time causes the student to continue to present with challenging behaviours, often even more challenging than the initial inciting incident.
All of the classroom management techniques you’ve been taught, such as “enforce rules and be firm” are largely unhelpful when confronted with a student experiencing trauma (and spoiler - they are all experiencing trauma in some way!) Punitive responses to behaviour begets the behaviour you are seeking to avoid.
Understanding trauma and trauma responses will dramatically shift your perspective in even your most difficult classes. It will give you concrete, practical tools to build relationships and shift dynamics in your classroom. It will also help you practice self-compassion, and recognize what you’re doing well, what you can do more of, and the areas you can begin to make subtle shifts.
So what will you find with us in What’s the T?
We know that teaching is hard, and navigating behavior and relationships with students can feel like a challenge, so we’ve curated resources, information, and tools that you can start to use in your classroom to improve your relationships with students and create the kind of classroom culture you’ve always wanted!
We also provide professional development workshops for teachers, administrators, and counsellors, who may want a more tailored approach to understanding how a trauma informed staff can completely change the dynamics in your school!
If you’re a teacher who is struggling alone, you don’t have to be! We can also offer one-to-one consultations and support your specific classroom needs!
Trauma informed teaching shouldn’t just be a professional development buzzword, and social emotional learning, though a fantastic addition to your curriculum, is not enough. Join us as we continue to build resources that will help you be trauma informed and will revolutionize your teaching approach!
We'd love to hear from you! Specific questions or hoping for some specific content? Email us or comment below!