Trauma Informed Classroom

Photo by Alexander Grey on Unsplash

Trauma effects children of all ages. Students deserve a flourishing, safe and consistent classroom free of traumatic triggers.

Positive classroom environment where students are praised for all participation
Failures are gently corrected and successes are invariably celebrated
Anticipating when and what is happening next creates comfort and peace
Consistent and clear discipline within the confines of the classroom.

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Trauma Informed Classroom with Education Consultant Roger Flowers

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For many children with ADHD, one of the most difficult skills to learn is how to self-advocate. But, it becomes critical when they go to high school and into adult

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Trauma Informed Teacher

Let’s face it, being a teacher is hard enough without all of the extra roles we take on each day. We comfort injured kids, play referee, manage time, clean, talk to sad kids (and adults), put on our best comedy show and of course we are masters of assessments. Nevertheless, the most important role as a teacher, is to be an adult that our students know is safe, caring, reliable and consistent.

While teachers definitely need to recognize and respond to trauma, we are NOT licensed counselors or therapists. If you suspect a life is in danger or suspect abuse, you should follow your local laws and school procedures.

ACEs (Adverse childhood experiences) and Other Events that lead to trauma in the Classroom

  • Bullying
  • Physical Abuse
  • Sexual Abuse
  • Emotional Abuse
  • Physical Neglect
  • Emotional Neglect
  • Mental Illness
  • Incarcerated Relative
  • Substance Abuse in the House
  • Divorce
  • Household Member Treated Violently
  • Pandemics
  • Serious Illness of Themselves or a Family Member
  • Past or Current Foster Care Placement

Trauma Informed Classroom is here to help teachers establish safe, caring, reliable and consistent classrooms to mitigate the impact of trauma on learning. A teacher can be magnificent at lesson delivery, but according to Maslow’s Hierarchy, children need a sense of belonging, safety, and basic physiological needs met before learning can occur. Students who have active trauma or past adverse childhood experiences, have a difficult time achieving the lower levels of the hierarchy.

Maybe you have a student that you feel is the “challenging kid” in the class. Is he/she extremely shy and have difficulty engaging with peers? Does he/she have trouble managing strong emotions? Is he/she constantly at your side needing your attention? Does he/she have trouble finishing one task and moving on to the next? Is there a lack of focus? Does he/she show a total disregard to safety? Do you see a perfection or nothing quality in this student? Ever wondered why he or she resorts to physical and verbal aggression as a first step to resolve conflicts? Does your current training escalate the student’s behavior?  

Trauma Informed Classroom has lesson plans to help teachers identify and respond to students that may have trauma sensitivity related needs. Additionally, we have useful articles for insight on trauma in the classroom as well as offer a full suite of in-person and virtual professional development. Our program transforms classrooms into ‘no bully zones’ by embracing differences including intelect, physical differences, culture and lifestyle.  

Trauma Informed Parent

Being a parent is no simple task. Many instances of trauma in the home are unavoidable, but many can be avoided or minimized. Too often families “keep secrets” from their children’s teachers and this inhibits the teacher’s ability to be sensitive to the situation(s). If a traumatic family event occurs, the parent should privately tell the teacher what happened so the teacher can respond and be appropriately sensitive. Trauma can lead children of all ages to untypical and unacceptable behavior. A Trauma Informed Teacher will have the training and understanding to help students in traumatic duress.   

No matter how hard a parent tries to avoid it, their child will most likely experience trauma at some point in their childhood.

AT HOME Behaviors AND EVENTS that Lead to Trauma

  • Cyber Bullying
  • Spanking
  • Belittling
  • Excessive Discipline
  • Death in the Family
  • Divorce
  • Housing Instability
  • Disparaging Other Family Members
  • Committing Crimes
  • Reckless Driving
  • Substance Abuse
  • Name Calling

Parents need to be willing to talk to their children WHEN their children are ready or need to talk. Everyone deals with trauma and grief in different ways. Children quite often turn to their parents to reflect and discuss traumatic family events; so parents need to be prepared. Moms and Dads both need to share their real feelings and frustrations at an age appropriate level. If a parent’s grief is too much or they aren’t prepared or equiped to talk to their children, a counselor may provide the vital communications necessary. If you feel your child is depressed or a life is in danger, contact your local authorities or the National Suicide Prevention Hotline at 1-800-273-8255.