Trauma-Informed Teaching

As we approach a new school year, it is important for all teachers to look deep into the needs of each child who sits in their classroom.  Trauma is something that can scream so loudly in a voice that can be easily mistaken as oppositional, inattentive, hyperactive, and angry.  

In a recent post, Ransom for Israel painted a vivid picture of a child who has experienced trauma as a goldfish that has been mistaken as a shark.  "...our children often present with behaviors that look like the shark, but if we look below the water, we will realize they are really just scared goldfish trying to have a need met.  Their behaviors might communicate anger and hostility, but below the surface is fear and a hurting child."

School can be a fortress for the hurt and the weary.  For teachers, you have the honor of being able to "provide a safe space and help them regulate.  This might mean sinking down to eye level and saying, 'You are safe.' and then simply step away for a while.  The cure for trauma is a safe relationship and you are going to give the child space and environment to feel safe."

When you see a child who is struggling, find the need that has yet to be met.  Be their safety.

Secondary Emotions

Secondary emotions Dr. Gosney

Anger is often considered a secondary emotion because it is used as an attempt to protect ourselves against feeling or showing primary emotions such as sadness, grief, fear, and anxiety.  We may unintentionally hurt others as a form of self-protection.  Only when we decide to take off the mask of anger can we allow ourselves to begin to heal.

The next time you find yourself angry, I challenge you to look beneath the surface.  Are you feeling embarrassed?  Disrespected?  Undervalued?  Afraid?  Open yourself up to learning more about the real you, and let the healing begin.

"Anxiety is the work of a strong, healthy brain that’s a little overprotective" - Karen Young

"Anxiety is the work of a strong, healthy brain that’s a little overprotective" - Karen Young

"Anxiety is the work of a strong, healthy brain that’s a little overprotective." - Karen Young

Selective Mutism: What it is and What it is NOT

Selective Mutism: What it is and What it is NOT

Selective Mutism (SM) is an anxiety disorder that begins early in a child’s life, where the child consistently feels unable to speak to certain people or in certain situations in which speaking is expected (such as at school or in the community), while speaking freely in other settings (such as at home). 

Could your child have anxiety? How anxious children are often mislabeled and lost in the mix.

Could your child have anxiety?  How anxious children are often mislabeled and lost in the mix.

There is no age limit on stress and anxiety.  The truth: anxiety looks different in kids!  Anxious children are often mislabeled and misdiagnosed (and sometimes inaccurately medicated).  Here, you can learn how anxiety, trauma, or stress may look in a child.  This information is not just for parents, but can be extremely helpful for educators!  Feel free to share with a parent or educator you know.