Trauma Informed Classroom

Recognizing Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACE)

Recognizing Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACE)

Traumatic events from the past, present or anticipated in the future can hinder learning. ACE’s, know as adverse childhood experiences, infuse known and unknown roadblocks towards understanding, processing, comprehension and executive functioning. ACE’s typically fall into 10 categories:

  • 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, all greatly increases the likelihood of the presence and severity of ACEs. According to a recent (National Center for Injury Prevention and Control, Division of Violence Prevention) survey, 61% of adults have at least one type of ACE from childhood, and nearly 1 in 6 have experienced four or more. Watch the short video below for a better understanding of how ACEs impact children and adults.

Of course the ultimate goal is to prevent ACEs in the first place, but when that is not possible, it is important for teachers to have a trauma informed classroom. The CDC has published an article “Preventing Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs) Leveraging the best Available Evidence” which has helpful ideas for prevention. When it comes to proper teacher training to respond to trauma in the classroom, we offer professional development training sessions around the world to train teachers on how to be sensitive and respond to trauma.

We can help schools understand that this issue is not an individual issue but rather a community issue. Children that experience trauma are not “bad” people, they tend to have undesirable behavior. These behaviors can be mitigated and reduced with sensitivity and teachers who build trauma informed classrooms. These more informed approaches allow children to thrive and see their true potential. Stigmas placed on children of the foster care system, children with undesirable behavior and those students that require extra attention need to be removed and shifted to an understanding that these kids needs extra support and sensitivity.

Teachers and school staff need to recognize that they don't know what baggage students bring to school each day. They could be starving for food or attention, be in endless pain from a medical issue or abuse or suffer from mental health issues.

Adverse Childhood Experiences - ACE
Photo by Ben White on Unsplash
Photo by Maxwell Nelson on Unsplash

Recognizing and understanding trauma in the classroom is an excellent start. Trauma Informed Classroom offers lesson plans, informational articles and worldwide professional development to help schools overcome this issue. Our mission is to have meaningful impact with our work. We challenge your school and school district to become a trauma informed school.

Featured Photo by 🇸🇮 Janko Ferlič on Unsplash
Avatar of Roger Flowers
Roger Flowers
Roger L. Flowers is an education consultant with a diverse background. He specializes in helping teachers and schools in the process of creating trauma-informed classrooms. Hailing from Southern California, Roger is a long-time foster parent. He also has extensive teaching experience, which led him to work with students of various levels over many years. He has been helping his peers in the education industry to build better classrooms for their students. Roger strives to make a real difference with his work.

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