Embrace SEL and Trauma Informed Teaching This Year | Facing History & Ourselves
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Embrace SEL and Trauma Informed Teaching This Year

Facing History explores the meaning and mechanics of trauma-informed teaching.

As teachers prepare to head back to school this year, it is valuable to prepare for the level of trauma that individual teachers may be called upon to hold. The Trauma-Informed Care Implementation Resource Center indicates that trauma “results from exposure to an incident or series of events that are emotionally disturbing or life-threatening with lasting adverse effects on the individual’s functioning and mental, physical, social, emotional, and/or spiritual well-being.” From the economic strain and complex traumas induced by the COVID-19 pandemic to those resulting from racist violence, students and teachers are returning to the classroom with a heavy emotional load. With all that educators will be asked help students face, it is a great time to cultivate a strong foundation of social-emotional learning (SEL) and trauma-informed teaching methodology. 

Check out these two blog posts which offer deep dives into the hows and why of SEL, as well as the meaning and mechanics of trauma-informed teaching.

What is Social-Emotional Learning?

Whether one’s coursework will be conducted in person or through a hybrid format, SEL is a foundation of effective teaching in the best of times and a vital lifeline in times of difficulty. In these times, it is crucial that educators come equipped with an educational plan that begins with nurturing adolescents’ sense of community and connection at school. And it is also crucial that educators come prepared to acknowledge the diverse array of experiences that community members are bringing back into the classroom. The demands of teaching don’t always allow educators to take a deep dive into the how’s and why’s of SEL but there’s never been a better time to do so. Read on to learn what educators need to know about this essential framework.

Trauma-Informed Teaching in Action: An Expert Interview

For some tips regarding how to hold students’ complex emotional states and experiences, check out this interview that we conducted with Dr. Elizabeth Dutro and Alex Shevrin Venet concerning the need for trauma-informed teaching in these times. Dr. Dutro is a professor and chair of the Literacy Studies program at the University of Colorado Boulder School of Education. Venet is a Vermont-based, industry-leading trainer, educator, and writer helping educators implement trauma-informed practices across the country. 

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