Teachers and school leaders can play a life-changing role by helping create positive childhood experiences for the children in their care

How any educator can create resilience in traumatized students


Teachers and school leaders can play a life-changing role by helping create positive childhood experiences for the children in their care

2. Encourage

Children need to feel supported. Understand that you’re helping them build confidence every time you offer words of encouragement. Point out their strengths, talents and interests. Get them focused on what they can do, instead of what they can’t.

3. Involve

Speaking of interests, show children how their strengths fit into community traditions — one of those PCEs. Joining clubs or teams or participating in various programs open doors to friendships, which is another PCE.

4 ways school leaders can help build resilience in students

Don’t limit positive experiences to what happens between teachers and students. If you’re a top leader in a school system, you have a role in building childhood resilience, and making the following small changes at the school level can position your students for greater success.

1. Make sure your staff knows about ACEs and PCEs.

Your teachers and administrators may not be familiar with those terms. Share and explain the research to familiarize them with the trauma their students may be experiencing and how their classrooms can double as centers for building resilience.

2. Promote positive emotion.

An attitude of gratitude will get us far! Have your educators implement daily moments of gratitude. Encourage students to keep a journal so they can look back at everything they were grateful for throughout the year.

3. Teach the importance of mental health and well-being.

Social-emotional subject matter is to overcoming trauma what addition and subtraction are to a math class. Find ways to add a mindful approach to the work students are doing in your schools.

4. Provide support for not only students but also their families.

You support students every day, but if a child is experiencing trauma at home, then the family may need support, as well. Just as you would check in on students, find ways to check in on the well-being of their loved ones, too.

As you can see, providing PCEs can be as simple as making small changes to your everyday activities. If you’re already moving in that direction, then keep it up! Your contributions will make an impact — they may already have.

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