There’s no doubt that the pandemic has been traumatic for children and adults alike. District and school staff member must remain especially diligent in being aware of and implementing strategies that help mitigate trauma.

A trauma-informed approach means teachers, administrators, staff, students and families recognize the behavioral, emotional, relational and academic impact of trauma, and address the impact through developing skills and providing specific trauma-informed supports.

Related content: 3 ways to combine trauma-informed teaching with SEL

There are four key pillars that guide educators in following a trauma-informed approach: focusing on wellness, building relationships, providing predictability and addressing students’ regulation deficits.

This post will explore the impact of trauma, provide an overview of each pillar and provide strategies for incorporating trauma-informed practices in remote, hybrid and in-person classrooms.

The impact of trauma: What are Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs)?

In the mid 90’s, Dr. Vincent Felitti and Robert Anda studied over 17,000 adults in an effort to understand more about stressful or traumatic childhood experiences, like neglect, abuse and family turmoil. They called these types of events “Adverse Childhood Experiences”, or ACEs.

About the Author:

Dr. Will Henson is a licensed clinical psychologist and a state-wide education consultant to school districts in Oregon. He consults throughout the state of Oregon on best practices for supporting students with emotional and behavioral disorders. Dr. Henson speaks and gives trainings nationwide on topics including paraeducator effectiveness, trauma-informed practices, threat management, functional assessment and best practices in supporting students with emotional and behavioral disorders. His first book “Behavior Support Strategies for Education Paraprofessionals” was published in 2008.