Trauma and Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs) are a concern in Vermont Schools. Teachers and ESPs throughout the state are finding classroom management techniques, so useful in the past, are not working with some students. One reason for this is that classroom management has been associated with students choosing inappropriate behaviors. Many students (statitics say 25%) come to school with ACEs that lead to behaviors that are a result of some external trigger, which activates the flight/fright/freeze part of the brain (watch Dr. Siegel's videos below). At that point, teachers need knowledge and skills to communicate with the student in order to move their thinking to the part of the brain that allows for discussion, problem solving, and learning. This simplistic view of the issue is just the beginning. Below you will find resources to help you understand trauma, the brain, ACE's and creating trauma-sensitive classrooms and schools.
Child Trauma Toolkit for Educators - The National Child Traumatic Stress Network (2008)
Why Schools Need to Be Trauma Informed - Oehlberg, B. (2008) Trauma and Loss, Reserach and Interventiosn V8N2 Fall/Winter
Unlocking the Door to Learning: Trauma-Informed Classrooms & Transformational Schools - McInerney, M. and McKlindon, A. (2014)
Helping Traumatized Children Learn 1 - Supportive School Environments for Children Traumatized by Family Violence - Massachusetts Advocates for Children in collaboration with Harvard Law School and teh Task Force on Children Affected by Domestic Violence. (2005) www.traumasensitiveschools.org.
Heling Traumatized Children Learn 2 - Trauma and Learning Policy Initiative - a Partnership of Massachusetts Advocates for Children and Harvard Law School (2013) www.traumasensitiveschools.org
Dr. Daniel Siegel Presenting a Hand Model of the Brain - This is an excellent video depicting how you could explain the brain to students and adults. "upstairs and downstairs brain". Another version by Dr. Siegal, (a little longer) is called "Flipping Your Lid:" A Scientific Explanation.