Fostering Resilient Learners: Trauma-Informed Teaching

As educators, we can learn a lot from the book, “Fostering Resilient Learners”, by Kristin Souers and Pete Hall. Oftentimes we are put into the position of being therapists, something we are not trained for. During this time we can utilize some of the tips from the book and put them into practice. “Fostering Resilient Learners”, gives a lot of insight on how to teach students with trauma. Trauma can greatly impact a student’s ability to learn.

Ways to help your students be more resilient science learners…..

  • School support

It is important to have a school that is behind students dealing with trauma in the classroom. It is ideal for a school to have more of a supportive community. This could look like interventions or activity school-wide to help support students with trauma. Having a positive community can help ease the trauma of the students and help the students learn better in the classroom. Ultimately leading to higher success in the science classroom.

  • Understanding your students

Understanding your students is an important aspect of trauma-informed teaching. Being able to build positive relationships with your students will heighten their success in the science classroom. Understanding your students will help create a more supportive learning environment. You will be able to identify what your student’s triggers are and how to better help your students. “Many of us associate behaviors with choice, I am now challenging you to look beyond the behavior and focus on the motive.” (pg.97). This quote shows how important it is to understand your students. By understanding your students you will be able to find the motive and be able to tell the behavior is not by choice.

  • Self-monitoring

Self-monitoring is an important aspect of trauma-informed teaching because it helps gain a better understanding of yourself, as well as, your students gaining a better understanding of themselves. It is important to control your stress in the classroom. Teaching students who have trauma can be difficult and therefore stressful. Understanding ways to control these emotions is vital. Additionally, helping your students understand their emotions is also beneficial. Your students will be able to identify their own stressors and how to control their motions better. “To climb out of survival mode, it is important for students to be able to identify the feelings, name the function of their brain, and attune to their biology. This will give them the power to manage the intensity associated with the stress.” (pg.96). This quote shows how important it is for students to be able to identify their emotions to get out of survival mode and be free.

  • Why is fostering resilient learners important for today’s society?

This is important because students will continuously encounter many challenges in their lives, and we as educators, want to make sure the student is set up for success in the classroom. There can be many things getting in the way of student learning, and we want to understand and help eliminate as many as possible/ ease as many as possible. The amount of students with trauma has increased in the recent years.

  • There are many different strategies and activities to help foster resilient learners in today’s society. The image below highlights a few key activities such as fostering trustworthiness and transparency through connection and communication. This might look like a team-building activity. Another great way is creating a classroom with a growth mindset. This is important for students to understand because they can grow and learn from their trauma through understanding/ self-monitoring practices. Another great activity would be meditation practices for when students feel a stressor coming on.


  1. Allie, great post. I especially enjoyed your section on school support. I think this is an under appreciated factor in the goal of building resilient learners, as often the focus is put simply on students. However, school support can be a crucial component of this as well. As a teacher, how do you think you will ask for support from administration and what help do you hope to see from them?

  2. Hey Allie, I loved reading your post. As you mentioned, self-monitoring is very important for the teacher and the student when it comes to fostering resilient learners. This also increases the student’s ability to understand themselves which will show personal growth. You mentioned this idea of a growth mindset. What are ways that a teacher can foster this mindset among their students?

    • Thank you for reading my post! Ways teachers can help foster growth mindsets among their students is by fostering curiosity. I think that once students are curious they will want to “open” their minds to different ideas.

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