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Helping students with histories of trauma excel in the classroom

Students with histories of trauma can struggle to be successful in the classroom. Unfortunately, a number of educators are not trained to help students who have been traumatized. But this may soon change. Recent school shootings are shifting the way that schools approach trauma and more districts are asking what they can do.

What can educators do to help their students with histories of trauma?

Here are some ways that schools have been able to help their students heal from past trauma.

Training teachers on trauma sensitivity

Schools like Hoover High School in San Diego, California have been leading the way in trauma-informed care. Sensitivity training is underway so that teachers can learn how to interact with students who have histories of trauma. Teachers are encouraged to work with the students both one-on-one and in group settings to discuss their experiences and thought processes. Such interactions can help kids to develop interpersonal skills and identify various ways that they can express themselves.

Since the introduction of trauma-informed care in Hoover High School, suspension rates have dropped dramatically and overall classroom performance has improved.

Increasing the number of social workers

Social workers in schools can dramatically improve a child’s well-being and offer them support throughout the recovery process. Following the recent school shootings, Baltimore County Schools are proposing an $8 million budget increase to help their students feel both emotionally and physically secure. The schools hope to add 100 new positions including counselors, psychologists, social workers, health assistance and School Resource Officers. The County is also proposing heightening safety measures with the addition of security cameras and a controlled entryway. These types of measures are expected to help students cope with trauma by increasing their physical and emotional well-being.

Students who have suffered from psychological turmoil require special care when it comes to education. If their basic needs are not being met, their classroom performance will be affected. When educators provide their students with adequate resources, they can help them to overcome their trauma so that they can begin to focus on their education and have a chance at success.

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