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Trauma-Informed Teaching

3 Credits
3 Credits

According to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) two-thirds of children reported at least one traumatic event by the age of 16 which in turn can affect academic performance, behavior, and social emotional learning (SEL). This course will prepare educators to implement commonly recognized strategies that support the brain’s ability to heal from trauma, allowing students to better engage and enjoy in-classroom activities.

What is Trauma-Informed Teaching?

Trauma-informed teaching is an approach to education with an understanding of the emotional, social, academic, and mental impacts trauma can have on students. Trauma-Informed teaching begins with an understanding of how trauma can impact the brain, learning, and behavior and how to read the signs that a student has dealt with trauma. Certain teaching strategies encourage trauma-informed teaching such as:

  • Putting importance on relationship building
  • Taking restorative approaches to discipline
  • Giving opportunities to build self-efficacy and self-esteem

What You’ll Learn in this Course

In this online professional development course, teachers will discover trauma-informed teaching skills such as the ACE study, the brain’s response to trauma, effects of trauma, neuroplasticity and healing from trauma, trauma-informed schools, and vicarious trauma. Educators will learn strategies to create a safe and supportive environment for students who may have experienced trauma.

Course Topics

  • Defining Trauma
  • The Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACE) Study
  • The Brain’s Response to Trauma
  • Effects of Trauma
  • Neuroplasticity & Healing from Trauma
  • Trauma-Informed Schools
  • Trauma-Sensitive Academic Strategies
  • Vicarious Trauma

“This course was excellent for me because I knew very little about trauma, and I truly have a heart to work with students who have suffered from trauma. The books were great, the assignments challenging and applicable. As I head in to the new school year, I feel like I am better prepared as a teacher to give grace and understanding and better prepared to collaborate with my students."
– Educator, South Carolina

“This is an informative class about how trauma impacts learning and gives ready-to-use, concrete ways to create a trauma sensitive learning environment in your classroom and school."
– Educator, Pennsylvania

NOTE: Required books must be acquired separately

This course is applicable towards the Social Emotional Learning Certificate.

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Amy Holland

As a Program Specialist and prior Special Education teacher, I desire for every school campus to support inclusion and celebrate diversity. I believe in order to do so, educators must have the right tools and strategies to meet the needs of all their students. As a part of my master’s thesis, I developed a professional development training which included defining trauma, the ACE Study, the brain’s response to trauma, effects of trauma, neuroplasticity and healing from trauma, trauma-informed schools, vicarious trauma, etc. In my course Trauma-Informed Teaching, I share trauma-sensitive strategies so that educators are better empowered to support students who have experienced trauma. My course Cultivating Emotional Resilience in Educators is designed to empower educators to acquire resilient dispositions in order to better face the many changes and challenges that occur throughout the school year.