Why Trauma-Informed Professional Development Is Necessary for All Educators

trauma-informed teaching professional development

Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), defines trauma as “a serious health problem caused by violence, traumatic events abuse, neglect, loss or disaster.html”>Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, working in coordination with the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, states that trauma can be experienced as an individual event, as well as repeatedly, such as when there is neglect and abuse. The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation reports that more than 38% of all children have experienced trauma. This could be anything from the death of a parent or living with someone addicted to substance abuse. These children arrive at school armed with pencils and their backpacks. Teachers across the country must create trauma-sensitive classrooms that are sensitive to children’s needs. They should also be able to offer support and empathy. Trauma-informed professional learning can help.

What Causes Trauma?

Trauma can come in many forms. Trauma can be caused by abuse or neglect at home. However, it can also occur outside the home. Recent statistics show that four out of ten children have been victims of assault. One in four children has been the victim of vandalism or robbery. Children can experience trauma from witnessing violence or other traumatic events, such as natural disasters.

Student Trauma

More than two-thirds of children report at least one traumatic event before their 16th birthday Each year, the number of youth requiring hospital treatment for physical assault-related injuries would fill every seat in 9 stadiums 1 in 4 high school students have been in at least one physical fight 1 in 5 high school students report being bullied; 1 in 6 cyberbullied 19% of injured and 12% of physically ill youth have Post- Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) More than half (54%) of U.S. families have been affected by some type of disaster

The Trauma-Informed Approach

SAMHSA developed a framework that helps trauma survivors, their families, and communities to better understand the links between behavioral health and suffered trauma. The trauma-informed approach teaches educators how to recognize signs of trauma and how to create an environment that doesn’t trigger traumatic feelings or hinder healing. Administrations must support this initiative by providing training and other assistance to classrooms.

6 Key Elements of a Trauma-Informed Approach

SAMHSA has identified six elements that make up a trauma-informed approach.

Safety Trustworthiness and Transparency Peer Support Collaboration Empowerment, Voice, and Choice Cultural, Historical, and Gender Issues

Benefits of the Trauma-Informed Approach

There are many key benefits to classrooms that adopt a trauma-informed learning approach. Students, regardless of their trauma history, can benefit from a safe and supportive environment that promotes trust, empowerment, safety, and other positive aspects. Instructors who listen to students who have experienced trauma and are trained to encourage collaboration are of great benefit. Providing support for students in need includes bringing in counselors and other professionals who are trained to help. This collaboration benefits teachers. Teachers also benefit from additional training that helps them manage traumatized children, helping them avoid bad behavior and instead adopt healthier coping strategies.

Professional Development for Trauma-Informed Classrooms

Teachers need to be trained to create a trauma-informed classroom. Teachers and schools should consider the many benefits that professional development can bring. Teachers who are currently teaching can benefit from continuing education programs that promote trauma-informed learning environments. Teachers can expect to become competent with the right training and support.

  • Students can be taught to recognize traumatic behavior
  • Establish a consistent structure for the classroom
  • Teaching self-care skills to students and learning strategies to build resilience for educators
  • Create a learning environment that is beneficial to all students, even those who have suffered trauma.

Online education options for teachers are increasing in popularity. Schools that plan to offer this type of professional education must take into account factors such as cost, schedule, and legitimacy. A conference can provide valuable introductory material for educators. However, online courses will most likely give districts the foundations they need to build a comprehensive program.

Online courses devoted to the topic and multi-session programs are good examples of post-conference approaches to trauma-informed professional development. There are platforms and resources available today to help teachers and schools develop trauma-informed classrooms. One of those platforms is SHARE professional learning.

Designed For Teachers

SHARE is an online learning platform that:

  • Teachers can identify trauma’s effects and manage stress in the classroom. They can also cultivate resilience in their students and the community.
  • Facilitates the creation of learning activities for the classroom.
  • It connects educators and other educators concerned about resilience and trauma in education