Well, according to the observation of CDC, children(two-thirds) in the United States have been exposed to at least one form of severe childhood trauma that can be any kind of abuse, natural disasters, or experiencing violence of any sort.Trauma is likely to be the most common and serious health problem prevailing today. Trauma can hinder or entirely obstruct our ability to learn. When our bodies detect a threat, energy rushes to brain areas that are trained to avoid harm. This is critical to our survival. However, it also implies that energy is diverted away from brain areas that aid in learning.
When pupils, specifically, are traumatized, they may get distracted or take longer to accomplish activities. They may become more irritated or jittery. They’re also more likely to fall behind in class or get in trouble for misbehaving.
What is trauma-informed instruction?
Basically, trauma is an emotional reaction to a traumatic incident such as accident, rape, or natural disaster. Trauma can lead to some really long-term effects on the body like unpredictable emotions, memories, strained relationships, and even physical symptoms like headaches or nausea.
Acute, chronic, and complex traumas are the three types of traumas. Acute trauma happens as a result of a single traumatic incident, such as a serious accident, medical treatment, or becoming the victim of a crime. Chronic trauma occurs when stressful or frightening experiences, such as domestic abuse, occur frequently. Multiple and continuous traumatic events, such as abuse or neglect, living with alcoholism or drug misuse, and experiencing financial, food, and/or housing insecurity, all contribute to complex trauma.
Indications of trauma in the school
In school, trauma prevails and still gets unnoticed by the staff, as most students don’t express it at all, some might be shy. What to do then?
We suggest looking for the various indications revealed by the students in the classroom. These indications are right below! take a look!
- Pay attention to any changes in behavior, since this might indicate that anything is wrong. A pupil who is generally extroverted may become more reserved. A student who is usually well-organized may find himself or herself neglecting assignments.
- Aggression or negative outbursts
- stomach aches or headaches on a regular basis
- Having a melancholy appearance
- Social interactions that are inappropriate
- Executive functions such as attention, organization, and self-regulation are affected.
- I’m behind on my schoolwork.
- Other factors might also be to blame for many of these behaviors. A physical issue, anxiety, or learning and thinking impairments may be present in students.
Trauma-informed approach and care
As you are an educator, whether you have a traumatized experience or not, the fact is that you are dealing with the students that are already traumatized and behavior issues. So, it is vital here that you are better trauma-informed, the responses that we listed above make you aware of the students that faced trauma. Being trauma informed involves learning about trauma and how it affects the children, their performance and activities, relationships, etc. The teachers, after staying informed of such students, try to create an atmosphere that suits each student in the class.
By establishing circumstances that foster safety, choice, participation, empowerment, and trustworthiness, you are enhancing both your success as an educator and the success of your students as learners.
It makes a tremendous difference in children’s capacity to learn when teachers are proactive and attentive to the needs of pupils suffering from traumatic stress and make tiny modifications in the classroom that build a sense of safety.
Why trauma-informed approach in the classroom?
When a person is traumatized, their body’s fight, flight, or freeze reaction is usually triggered. The emotional reaction area of the brain is frequently harmed, making it harder to cope with negative news that can be bad grades, taunt, etc. or changing circumstances (e.g., adjusted due dates). When trauma is initially experienced, for several days, weeks, or months afterwards, when memories of traumatic events are recalled, and so on, these consequences might occur. As a result, students who might normally thrive in their courses may find themselves at a disadvantage. To avoid any discomfort in the student’s life, trauma infrared approach is required.
How to apply trauma-informed teaching in the class
- First thing first, get to know your students well and create a positive relationship with them, where they can be free, loosen up, and flexible enough.
- Show that you care, their teachers got their back.
- Look at them as individuals in the class rather than their behavior issues, stay calm.
- Be aware of your own feelings. The first step in helping kids control their feelings is to identify and regulate your own.
- Expect pupils to respond inappropriately at times. Allow them the space and time they require to relax. Let them know that this is a natural reaction to a traumatic event.
- Allow pupils to talk about or write about their experiences. Understanding why a pupil behaves the way they do might help you respond with empathy.
- Keep in mind that your conduct is a type of communication. Make an effort not to take it personally.
- Inform your family about what you’re witnessing. They might have some suggestions for you to try in class. They could also ask you for suggestions on how to assist them at home.
- Ensure that your instruction is culturally sensitive and does not reinforce painful experiences.
- It’s possible that pupils did.
- Teach and model good behavior practices, as well as social and emotional abilities.
- Seek advice and assistance from the school counselor or another mental health professional. A functional behavioral evaluation can assist in determining what is causing the behavior and how to help.
- Present good, positive body language in order to provide physical safety.
- Stay consistent, have proper structure and routine for flexibility.
- Create a sense of community through fostering student-to-student relationships.
- Assist Students in Adopting a “Growth Mindset”.