12 Things You’ll Find in a Trauma-Sensitive Classroom

When presenting to groups of school principals, I’ve found it helpful to use imagery to help principals picture classroom activities and interactions that help students, even those who struggle with trauma, can build resilience and find academic success.  When principals understand what “trauma-informed instruction” looks like, it’s easier to recognize it when visiting a classroom.  There are twelve things that should be evident when visiting a classroom led by a teacher who has been trained in trauma, ACEs research, and brain function – both normal brain functioning and what occurs when experiencing toxic stress.   In this post, I provide the list and a downloadable PDF of the list with a summarizing paragraph about each item.

In my workshops I delve into the neuroscience and research that supports these twelve key characteristics of trauma-sensitive classrooms.  So my subsequent posts will address each item listed below in depth and  citing research and additional resources.

Without further ado – here are the 12 Things You’ll Find in a Trauma-Sensitive Classroom.

  1. Positive Teacher-Student Relationships
  2. Emotionally-Safe Learning Environment
  3. Established Routines, Seamless Transitions
  4. Teaching and Modeling of Self-Regulation and Coping Skills for All Students
  5. A Calm, Flexible and Resilient Teacher
  6. Positive, Specific Feedback for Every Student
  7. Students Empowered to Set Learning Goals and Monitor Their Own Progress
  8. A Climate of Joy, Hope and Support for All
  9. Explicitly Taught Social-Emotional Skills & Expectations
  10. A Pervasive Attitude of Gratitude
  11. Movement Activities with an Academic Purpose
  12. Learning that Sticks through Planned Peer Interactions

Stay tuned for future postings on each.

In the meantime, you can download the document summarizing each of these 12 items here.

Calm Schools, Calm Adults, Calm Students.

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