Teaching With Care: Fostering Resilient Learners

Adverse childhood experiences manifest themselves in our classroom. It is an undeniable reality of our world. School must be a safe space for all children, but especially those whose home is unsafe or unhealthy, as teachers, we have a pivotal role to play in creating that safe space. There are three core points to creating a trauma-sensitive classroom outlined in Kristin Souers and Pete Hall’s book on fostering resilient learners: Self Awareness, Relationships, and Belief.

Self Awareness

Dr. Souers uses an analogy in the book about wearing cement shoes. Your cement shoes are what keep you from being knocked over by the crashing waves that you encounter inside of the classroom. One way to know what your cement shoes are is by creating a mission statement. This statement should include those things that make you a teacher- your drive, your motives, your passions, and your strengths. In addition to these tools, the video above outlines the importance of teachers practicing self-care.


Positively Passionate About Teaching: Build Student -Teacher ...

Building relationships isn’t easy, and it can be especially difficult for a student who has ACEs. One way to help shape these relationships is by modeling honesty and vulnerability with students. When students see that we trust them with our vulnerabilities they can learn to do the same with us. Sometimes students, or ourselves, can do things that damage our relationships. When this happens it’s important to work towards rebuilding the relationship


I Am Scared Shitless | Most famous quotes, Famous quotes, Quotes

What do we know to be true about our students? Some students may feel defined by their trauma, however, that should not define them in our eyes. We must believe that all our students are capable of achieving our high expectations. But those expectations should be based on the strengths of the students and push our students to their fullest potential.


  1. Hi Aaron! This was an awesome post all around! I loved your ted talk about self awareness and how we need to understand ourselves before we can understand our students. I thought your comments about belief were amazing. Students are only defined by their trauma if they believe they are. So it’s our job to show them that they can be so much more than that. How do you plan on doing that if you don’t know what the student is dealing with outside of school?

  2. Hi Aaron! I liked the part of your post where you discussed the importance of cement shoes. You mentioned a way to know what your cement shoes are is by creating a mission statement, which I think is awesome! What would your mission statement be?

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