Below are TIPs that will be shared weekly with staff. Feel free to use these TIPs to communicate with your students, other staff and families in your own communications.
March 9, 2022
Remember, at any given time our students may be facing multiple adversities in their lives outside of school, and when we elect positive intent, we choose to view our students through a trauma-informed lens.
March 2, 2022
When a student thinks negatively, the negative moments during the day tend to weigh more heavily than the positive moments. We need to counter this effect with positive experiences. Consider having them help a younger student, work in the office, or fix something that is broken. It is important that students experience competence to develop a more accurate self-narrative and to begin to create a positive future picture of themselves.
February 23, 2022
- Explicitly teach interpersonal and problem-solving skills
- Providing school safety policies and restorative practices so they feel safe and are able to consider mending relationships
- Mindfulness/meditation – this allows students to self-regulate and be able to more effectively engage with others and problem solve.
February 10, 2022
As we all know, it is important to know what is under the surface. While ignoring inappropriate behavior is appropriate for some students, for others it may trigger feelings of abandonment. For some students, it is appropriate to ignore the behavior; however, first, strive to preserve the relationship and validate the student’s feelings. Be careful using preferred time as a reward for doing something right. This sends the message that you like a student when they do something correctly, and not for who they are. Use 1:1 time with no strings attached.
February 3, 2022
Students who have Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs) frequently interpret information through a negativity amplifier. When giving feedback try the positive sandwich approach and start and end with a positive comment. “I love how you remembered the formula,” “You made a small calculation error there,” “Great job getting problem #3 correct.”
January 20, 2022
As part of our weekly tips on Building Our Culture of Resilience, we don’t always know what is going on under the surface for our students and one another. Here’s a short video to learn more.
January 13, 2022
Many students feel a loss of control in their lives and power struggles with an authoritative figure are particularly triggering. Consider the following:
Strategies for the student
- Disengage– Don’t participate in a back and forth conversation with the student. Say what you need to say once or twice and then move on.
- Focus on other students– Instead of centering on their words or action, focus on your on-task students.
- Use your voice strategically– Don’t let your voice rise to their same volume. Dial yours down 1-2 levels lower.
- Change the subject– This will take you out of the power struggle.
- Tone down your body language– Keep your body language calm and neutral ( just like your voice)
- Give choices– Create teacher-approved options that your student can choose from.
- Keep verbal direction to a minimum– They are waiting to say ‘no’, so don’t give them the option.
- Empower them- Let them have monitored and limited control over something.
- Have predetermined consequences– Know like the back of your hand, what will happen when…
Strategies for You
- Be confident ( or at least fake it until you make it)- Know that you are well able (or you will be).
- Don’t take it personally– Trust me, it’s not really about you.
- Remember that Rome was not built in a day (but it did get built, right?)- Behavior change takes time.
Not everyone enjoys winter break or celebrates it the same way. Some students will be worried about food, shelter, being home where it may not feel safe. Try these strategies…
Remember, in order to foster resilience in school-age students, they MUST experience positive relationships with adults at school. “People, not programs change people”. The foundation of these relationships is “unconditional positive regard” for each student, the belief that every student is worthy of care and that worth is not contingent on anything—not compliance with rules, not good behavior, not academic success. When our students know we’ll care about them no matter what, they can feel safer taking risks. This risk-taking in a safe environment, with support and opportunities to reflect, is one way to build resilience—in all students.
Over 60% of school-aged children have experienced adverse childhood experiences (ACES). A trauma-informed approach tells us that children do not learn unless they feel safe and connected. Making Students Feel Safe focuses on utilizing trauma-informed practices to help engage students in the learning process.
Building a positive relationship with a student is key to their success.
- Greet the student every day at the classroom door and ask about something of interest.
- Use the “two by ten” rule; find time to talk to the student for two minutes a day for 10 days in a row about topics unrelated to academics or behavior. Repeat this trust-building activity several times throughout the year- especially after anger, frustration, long weekends, or vacations.
- If you have a positive relationship with a student, and another teacher struggles, write your strategies down for them- what works, what doesn’t. Support each other.
When all adults are committed to a safe and caring environment, it increases the chances that children will feel safe asking for help.
It’s the little conversations that build the relationships and make an impact on each student.
Every child needs a champion- an adult who will never give up on them, who understands the power of connection.
As fun and exciting as this can be, the imagery surrounding Halloween can also be frightening and depict things like death, blood and gore. For a child who has experienced trauma, this type of sensory input can activate the threat predictions we learned about during our Trauma Informed Practices Training earlier this school year. When the threat prediction cycle is activated, so is fight/flight/freeze.
Some things to consider:
- If celebrating in the classroom, let your students know of any changes to their typical schedule well ahead of time
- Be mindful of the the type of media shared in class
- Encourage students to leave their masks or other costume “accessories” at home
- Remember your R.O.L.E.S: things that might not be scary to you may be very scary to others. Don’t dismiss reactions, instead validate student’s feelings and help them by removing triggering stimuli.