In this post, we note how trauma-sensitive school leaders focus on creating learning environments that are safe havens, where students are met “where they are” and supported as such to re-connect, to develop needed skills, and to maintain their physical and emotional health and well-being.
Schools play a significant role in supporting not only a young person’s academic development but their healthy social-emotional development as well. Disruptions from the pandemic have undermined school’s supportive role, especially for those students at critical transitional stages.
TLPI shares a series of blog posts highlighting key take-aways that we have heard from discussions with trauma-sensitive school leaders as they reflect on how utilizing the trauma lens guides them in their response to the ongoing pandemic-related challenges.
TLPI recently held a legislative briefing where students from Massachusetts’ high schools shared with legislators what they need from their schools in order to learn and do well in this critical time of transition and recovery from the pandemic.
We are thrilled to share with you a new website, www.students-speak.org, that provides a platform that uplifts students’ voices and showcases their actions and advocacy to help create schools that provide what they need in order to do well.
In the excerpt video, “A Welcoming Learning Environment Benefits Students, in School and at Home,” students at the Salem Academy Charter School, a trauma-sensitive demonstration school, share their positive experiences feeling welcomed by their school community.
In this short video, “Building Trusting Relationships Between Teachers & Students,” listen to Eddie, Destiny, Lola, and Juliebeth, students at the Salem Academy Charter School, a trauma-sensitive demonstration school, speak passionately about the impact their trusted teachers have on their education and passion for learning.
Listening to students about what they need to be successful in school is at the core of a trauma-sensitive learning community-whether in the classroom or remotely. Students are more likely to focus on and embrace learning when their voices and cultural backgrounds are respected.
As students are welcomed back to school this year, new needs and urgencies will be identified by school staff. As educators think through how to address these urgencies in a trauma-sensitive way, TLPI offers a tool-the trauma sensitive vision questions- to help support educators’ efforts to engage in active reflection and thoughtful inquiry on ways to achieve their vision of creating a trauma-sensitive, safe and supportive learning environment.
Everyone knows what it feels like not to belong, not to be welcome. Sometimes we feel rejected, left out, or hurt by lost friendships and partner relations. Now scientific literature corroborates that social rejection affects the brain in similar ways that physical pain does. Social rejection really does hurt! This is important information to consider as schools reopen, whether remotely or in person, especially for students who may already feel a lack of belonging or are marginalized.