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.