Building a Trauma-Sensitive School
Traumatic experiences like a natural disaster and the ongoing stress of living with an abusive or drug-addicted parent exact a high price on both children and schools. Students who experience traumatic stress perform worse academically and cognitively, and their teachers report that they behave worse in the classroom. And teachers themselves can experience secondhand stress as they struggle to deal with their students’ intense emotional and learning needs. Now a growing number of regular schools are adopting trauma-sensitive practices to better serve distressed students. What does a trauma-informed school look like in practice? And how can schools gear up to provide it?
Schools using trauma-sensitive approaches are becoming more mindful of—and guarding against—the emotional burnout of teachers.
Three ongoing lawsuits make the case that schools have a responsibility to consider and mitigate the effects of students' personal traumas on their learning.
With little research to guide them and a growing sense of urgency, schools are working to create learning environments for students in stress. Read what they're doing.
In disaster-ridden Houston, an online simulation trains teachers to recognize and respond to signs of trauma in students.