Understanding Student Trauma

What is Trauma?
Trauma is defined as any event that is experienced by an individual as physically or emotionally harmful because the individual perceives his/her life or the life of someone s/he loves as threatened. Traumatic events include: domestic violence, neglect, physical abuse, sexual abuse, psychological maltreatment, serious medical illness, to name a few.

How Trauma Effects Your Students

The range of student responses to traumatic life events varies based on individual and environmental factors. Traumatic life experiences often disorient the student and create a profound sense of unsafety.

Trauma is particularly challenging for educators to address because kids often don’t express the distress they’re feeling in a way that’s easily recognizable — and they may mask their pain with behavior that’s aggressive or off-putting. As Nancy Rappaport, a child and adolescent psychiatrist who focuses on mental health issues in schools, puts it, “They are masters at making sure you do not see them bleed.”

Resources

Child Trauma Toolkit for Educators (traumaawareness.org)
Child Mind Institute

Behaviors Frequently Associated with Trauma
10 Tips for Teachers of Students with Trauma

Website by SchoolMessenger Presence. © 2019 West Corporation. All rights reserved.