The Survival Brain – Let’s Talk About Trauma

This post is about TRAUMA and how it affects us – all of us — whether we’ve experienced it ourselves or we know someone who has lived it.

I am by no means an expert on the topic, but as I have done dozens of times in my blog, I search out those who are expert and lean on their wisdom. The topic of trauma resonates with me — as a lived experience within my family, as a district leader, but more importantly, simply as a human being who is seeking to understand others and what they may be experiencing.

TRAUMA is often misunderstood — and sometimes not even considered as the possible underpinnings of a child’s behaviour. In education, we continue to explore trauma, how it can affect the classroom experience, and how we respond to it. We refer to this reflection and action as Trauma Informed Practice.

The Effects of Trauma can be Significant

I am hoping that today’s information might make you pause and reflect on an observed behavior that seems odd or misplaced — that you might instead take the path of seeking understanding.

The reality is that trauma affects all of us at some point in our lives — whether we’ve experienced it or seen it in others. When it does happen — how it affects us today and how it may affect us tomorrow can be different. This is another reminder to me that, as educators of children who may have experienced trauma, we need to remember that there is always a story behind the behaviour — whether it is trauma based or not.

So, when we see something that does not appear to fit, let’s pause and ask ourselves some questions:

  • Why do their actions seem out of step within the present context?
  • Why do they appear elevated / withdrawn / emotional / quiet / angry / sad?
  • Is there something I am doing that may be contributing to their current expression?
  • Am I being aware and present to the possibility that at this moment they may be having emotional responses grounded in traumatic experiences?

(More on Page 2)

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