Based on the trauma and resilience informed strategies which proved successful in creating a safe, supportive and nurturing learning environment at Lincoln High School, we wanted to extend trauma informed practices into local elementary schools and the local Head Start program. The school district has approved a partnership and we are very excited to bring resilience building strategies to our younger learners.
We are bringing trauma informed strategies and practices to:
- Blue Ridge Elementary and Head Start/ECEAP
- Green Park Elementary
- Edison Elementary
Because we understand the impact of trauma on a child’s sense of safety we are helping to build strategies that build a child’s sense of safety starting with the foundational ability to self-regulate. We are starting by bringing concrete activities and strategies to teachers that address the basic elements of social emotional development in a class room. We also aim to support teachers own self care as the most critical factor in a child’s learning experience.
Here are some tools for teachers that help build resilience and create positive learning environments for their students:
We have created three songs with graphics to help children learn about how their brain works and how to best integrate the different parts of the brain to be in control of their actions and emotions. There is a curriculum that accompanies the songs that can be accessed upon request.
Creating a safe zone for children to go when they are feeling overwhelmed or having problems in class promotes a safe, and therefore productive, learning environment and helps children learn how to self regulate and self calm.
he Safe Pocket System from fairydustteaching.com asks children to check in with themselves and monitor how they are feeling, giving themselves and their teacher a better understanding of their emotional state.
This simple entry task also helps children to better understand and monitor their feelings and is an excellent resilience building exercise.
Video: One teacher’s response to trauma-informed practices in a classroom setting.
We are also creating boxes for teachers that include children’s books along with other fun tools that help build resilience and promote self regulation.
Having simple breathing exercises on hand are fantastic tools to help children calm and self regulate. These whimsical breathing techniques for children and adults alike are courtesy of consciousdiscipline.com (C) 2014 Loving Guidance Inc.
Even Elmo knows the importance of breathing, check out his excellent video
We are also bringing in Head Start Trauma Smart Director Avis Smith’s emphasis on the four attunement steps of the ARC model (Blaustein & Kinniburgh) to help teachers manage behaviors, including thier own, in the most positive and productive way.
Teacher Tips and Encouragement
Additionally we have created words of encouragement and tips for teachers to be hung in their break room. A teacher’s well being is the most important first step to creating a safe classroom environment. We want to help promote self care for teacher and give them reminders of how to create the best learning environment possible.