Trauma-Influenced Pedagogy

‘Fostering Resilient Learners; Strategies for creating a Trauma-Sensitive Classroom’ By Kristin Souers and Peter hall is a book written with an extreme purpose in mind. To better educate current and future teachers about trauma in students, and how it can affect their learning experiences. This book aims to go beyond the accommodations to plan ahead for the possibility (and likelihood) of teaching students who have experienced trauma, this is what we call Trauma-Informed Pedagogy.

Advocating for our Students

First off It is important to know that trauma is real, and it is prevalent in the lives of our students. They mention that “Trauma is toxic to the brain and can affect development and learning in a multitude of ways” (Souers, pg. 11). Which is why it is so critical to recognize this in our students.

  • We can advocate for our students by this method I mentioned earlier by trauma-informed pedagogy… but how exactly do we do this and what does it look like? The picture above gives, a wonderful source of strategies you can implement in your teaching, such as working to ensure that your students’ emotional, cognitive, physical and interpersonal safety is met, and respected. Another one I think implementing in the classroom is crucial is, Fostering trust and meaningful connections between you and your students. This allows for them to know that they have someone safe they can come and talk to.

Why is it important today?

Why is trauma-informed pedagogy important to foster in todays society? Trauma is something that has seen an increase in our students in recent years. Like we mentioned before it can have everlasting impacts on our students socially and in the classroom. It is important now more than ever to incorporate these practices into your classroom, in the book she mentions that “as an educator, you don’t have a choice about being in the trauma business. You do have a choice in what you do about it (Souers, Pg. XI) Which is something it is important to realize, now more than ever students need someone to look to and to talk about their problems with and teachers are in those critical roles to provide this for them. So what are some methods we can do to help our students?

  • Praise! – For a student going through these experiences, they may feel like everything is going wrong, and they do not know how to bounce back or where to begin. A low self-esteem tends to follow this, but one way we can counteract this is by praising our students. Which can significantly boost their morale and attitudes.
  • Positive connections – Another strategy we can do to boost their strategy is to build strong connections, so they feel they have someone safe to, we can also foster positive connections of all students in our classroom which can help with positive interactions amongst students.

1 Comment

  1. Hi Quinte, I really loved the graphic you used on trauma-informed teaching. I think that is a great model of the many facets intertwined in working with our students working through trauma. I was wondering what your biggest worry is about working with a student having a trauma-based reaction.

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