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.
Viewing the pandemic as a shared exposure to trauma among everyone in the school community helps us look differently at what is in front of us. It also helps us respond differently with a focus on practices that can mitigate the impact of the traumatic experience of the pandemic by strengthening the sense of community in our school.
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.
This virtual briefing will take place on Wednesday, March 9th at 11:00am (EST) on Zoom. At the briefing, high school students from across the Commonwealth will share their perspectives on what they need in order to do well in school and why now is a critical moment to prioritize funding for Safe and Supportive Schools.
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.
We are thrilled to share with you this short video highlighting one middle/high school’s journey to create a trauma-sensitive, safe and supportive school. Highlighted in the video are the ways in which this school embraces parent engagement and student voice to help guide their efforts to create a vibrant learning community where all staff work together to create a school that embodies the values of safety, trusting relationships, connection, equity, belonging, and adaptability.
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.