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.
Social Emotional Learning
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.
As schools reopen how can we use what we know about the impacts of trauma to provide learning environments in schools that will respond to the many emerging and varied needs of students? One way is to keep trauma-sensitivity at the forefront of planning as students return.
The January, 2021 edition of School Administrator, the American Association of School Administrators’ award-winning monthly magazine, features an article titled , Trauma Sensitivity in Early Learning, which describes the importance of safety, connection and the application of the trauma lens in early learning including the critical role of family engagement.
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.