While the awareness of trauma-informed teaching has been a concept I have grappled with, teaching amidst the COVID-19 pandemic has moved this concept to the forefront in terms of how to be effective as a trauma-informed educator in the virtual classroom.
Trauma is prevalent in the lives of both educators and learners. Though prevalent, it can also be silent in that it is not always a visible or known quantity. Living through a pandemic, by its very nature, has been traumatic for everyone and it is important to debrief and reflect on the failures and successes of our educational practices during this time.
It may be surprising to learn that as of 2020, according to the CDC-Kaiser Ace Study, up to two-thirds of U.S. children have experienced at least one type of serious childhood trauma. Some examples include abuse, neglect, or witnessing violence. Trauma may be the largest public health issue facing our children today (CDC, 2019). It is imperative that we are not only aware of these statistics but that we act on known strategies that help our students cope with trauma so that they can meet with success in both in-person and virtual classroom spaces.
Edtech tools help facilitate trauma-informed teaching in a big way
Looking back on this past school year, many edtech tools have emerged and been thoroughly explored by educators in a way that was not always possible prior to the pandemic, mainly due to time constraints that come from things like sports games, social gatherings, music lessons, carpooling, and all of the other activities that previously occupied our calendars.
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