Education

Building capacity for becoming a trauma-informed and trauma-responsive school, district, or educational setting is a journey of cultural transformation.  It does not occur with a single training, professional development offering, or consultation session.

 

Becoming trauma-responsive is about redefining or refining the culture of your setting.  It’s about interpreting the human experience through a trauma-informed lens.  The culture of an educational setting is defined by shared beliefs, values, priorities, and habits.  It’s reflected in the practices, policies, procedures, and people.  Reshaping or refining culture requires an artful blend of knowledge, lived experience, and skill.

 

We serve as the initial sherpas in guiding this cultural transformation.  Through training, we help you become your own sherpas of cultural transformation.

Do you think your school or school district may benefit from becoming trauma-informed? HERE this NOW can assist you with building capacity for creating a trauma-responsive school.  HERE this NOW provides a wide array of services from experienced trauma-informed schools trainers and consultants, Emily Daniels and Lara Kain.  We provide on-site professional development, facilitation, in-person and virtual coaching, and case consultation.

WHOLE SCHOOL CAPACITY BUILDING

Becoming a trauma-responsive school is a journey not an event or a single professional development training.  HERE this NOW is highly equipped with the skills and services to sherpa your school’s journey of becoming trauma-responsive.  We customize services and contract to meet the needs of your school.

On-Site Professional Development Options

CREATING SAFETY:  UNDERSTANDING AND APPLYING THE POLYVAGAL THEORY IN SCHOOLS

Stephen Porges, distinguished scientist and researcher, hypothesized The Polyvagal Theory in 1994.  His theory revolutionizes our understanding of human behavior.

Porges contends that as the result of evolution, we developed a more sophisticated autonomic nervous system capable of detecting the presence or absence of environmental cues of safety or threat.  This unconscious process, known as neuroception, is happening as we breath and as our hearts beat.

When our bodies detect threat in the internal or external environment, we may be “bumped out” of our “range of resilience” and react with powerful fight, flight, or freeze responses not within our conscious control.  This is especially true for children, adolescents, and adults with a trauma history.

Understanding The Polyvagal Theory and how to intentionally generate psychological safety in our school practices and environments is at the heart of a trauma-responsive school.

The Regulated Classroom:  “Bottom-Up” Trauma-Informed Teaching

When educators learn about the devastating impact of ACES and toxic stress on a child’s developing brain and behavior, they often remark, “Well, now what?”

The Regulated Classroom is an approach to creating a safe and connected classroom environment by understanding the role of the autonomic nervous system in human behavior.

Educators experience their own stress reactions when they encounter challenging student behavior.  If their bodies perceive threat from a student or school environment they are more likely to respond in defensive ways.  This dynamic human experience (i.e. “you’re threatening me; I am threatening you”) undermines connection and fuels power struggles and defensive reacting in children and adults.  This is especially true if there is a history of trauma.

In this interactive training, participants learn to create a classroom that generates psychological safety and invites emotional and behavioral regulation via the nervous system.  Participants take a deep dive into a regulated learning environment; and they learn by doing.  They explore sensory tools and “bottom-up” strategies for self-regulation in addition to engaging in four kinds of classroom practices (connectors, activators, settlers, affirmations) that quiet the primitive brain and open pathways to connection and learning.  This training promises to be fun, engaging, connecting, and inspirational to the educator looking to apply trauma-informed practices in the classroom.

DISCIPLINE CHALLENGES

Do you have students out of control in your class or school?  Students acting in unsafe ways or “checked out?”  Do you find methods of BCBA (Board Certified Behavioral Analysis),  FBA (Functional Behavioral Analysis), informal behavior plans, or PBIS (Positive Behavioral Intervention Supports)  failing to impact lasting change?  Perhaps you feel uncomfortable with a behavioral approach to these issues.

A trauma informed approach reframes and challenges the notion that kids are in control of their fight, flight or freeze reactions.  Based on the recent findings in neuroscience,  learn a new paradigm for viewing disruptive behaviors and bold, body-based / “bottom-up”, strategies that accomplish lasting change.

REPAIRING EDUCATOR BURNOUT

Common Core, grade level expectations, state standards, NWEA (NorthWest Evaluation Association), Smarter Balance, competency based learning, learning rubrics, merit based pay, Danielson, formative and summative assessment – just to name a few recent trends in K-12 public education.  We continue to ask our educators to do more with the same or less resources.  At some point, they reach a breaking point.  Why?  Because we are only human.

In this professional development offering, participants learn how compassion fatigue or exhaustion are normal, expected responses to overwhelming expectations and underwhelming support structures. Participants will increase awareness of concepts related to stress response, inner state regulation, and ways of achieving greater calm.  The training also includes suggestions for staff structures and formats that aid the repair of compassion fatigue.

STRESS RESPONSE & THE SCHOOL ADMINISTRATOR

As a modern day school administrator, your job could not be harder. Fifty percent of principals burn out in less than 3 years. School administrators find themselves sandwiched between student needs, staff needs, while coupled with  demands from various stakeholders – parents, school board members, central office – for high performance.  It is expensive for districts and it takes a toll on school performance when principals and administrators turnover.

In this training, the school administrator will begin to understand the nature of stress response in his/her body, how stress response is shaped by earlier life experience, how to recognize its activation, how to usher in a settling response.  Delivered in the context of high psychological safety, feelings of isolation are diminished and support increased.  This training intends to leave participants feeling refreshed, connected, and more equipped with self care strategies to take on a new day.

ConVal High School’s Story: Becoming Trauma-Informed for Substance Abuse Prevention

As a student assistance counselor, I regularly receive flashy emails from various organizations promoting materials for drug-free schools.  Secretly I roll my eyes and strike the trash icon.  “Drug free schools - ha, right?!” It may sound cynical or jaded that I don’t...
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