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How to Get Started with Trauma-Informed Teaching: 6 Resources for Educators

How to Get Started with Trauma-Informed Teaching: 6 Resources for Educators

The unfortunate reality is that a lot of kids experience a lot of difficult life events from a very early age. The impact of these experiences is undeniable in the classroom, both behaviorally and in terms of academic growth and achievement. Educators recognize this challenge and are starting more meaningful conversations about what supports these students need. These approaches are often referred to as trauma-informed teaching, and they have the potential to close achievement gaps and revolutionize learning for some students, especially those living in poverty, experiencing homelessness, dealing with violence, or facing the aftermath of a traumatic event like a death or natural disaster.

Providing these students with the help they need can feel like a lot of pressure. For educators, it is important to support students who have experienced trauma, but keep in mind there are entire professions dedicated specifically to this work, including guidance counselors, mental health therapists, social workers, psychiatrists, and more. There are plenty of organizations and materials available to help educators offer support and connect students to these critical services. We’ve gathered up some of the best websites, fact sheets, and articles to help you support your students experiencing trauma.

Helping Traumatized Children: A Brief Overview for Caregivers

This booklet is one in a series developed by the Child Trauma Academy to assist parents, caregivers, teachers and various professionals working with maltreated and traumatized children.

Infographic: Trauma-Informed Support for Children

Use this infographic from parenting and trauma training provider Echo to look beyond immediate behaviors to understand the hurt or struggle a child is trying to communicate, and build an environment where those needs can be addressed.

How Trauma Affects Kids in School

This article from the Child Mind Institute offers useful perspectives on unexpected sources of trauma, and the impacts that can have on students in the classroom.

SSET: Support for Students Exposed to Trauma

Support for Students Exposed to Trauma (SSET) 6is an evidence-based approach for elementary through high school intervention focused on managing the distress that results from exposure to trauma. This fact sheet provides the background and essential information educators need to implement the model.

Trauma and Children – Tips for Parents

For parents, helping their child through a traumatic experience can be emotional, confusing, and scary. This article from the Australian government’s Better Health program provides helpful tips to share with parents that walk them through the process and help determine when to seek professional help.

Helping Children and Adolescents Cope with Violence and Disasters: What Parents Can Do

This guide from the National Institutes of Mental Health provides a detailed overview of what constitutes a traumatic experience, common responses from children, how adults can help, and where to access more resources.

Implementing social and emotional learning (SEL) approaches can be a great starting point to work towards trauma-informed teaching. Ready to get started in your classroom or school? Check out this blog on Social and Emotional Learning in Practice.

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Winnie O'Leary

Winnie O’Leary has spent over 25 years in education, as a classroom teacher, school board member, a family advocate, special education teacher, curriculum writer and currently the Educator Initiatives Manager. Her experiences have allowed her to work with districts all over the country where she learns something new and exciting every day.