Trauma Informed Teaching


Trauma is defined by Souers and Hall (2016) as an exceptional experience in which powerful and dangerous events overwhelm a person's capacity to cope. As educators, we are most concerned about the lives of our students. We want to know the best way to ensure they are getting the most of our instruction. Research has shown this can be difficult and next to impossible if our students have experienced trauma.

These experiences appear as Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs). ACEs are potentially traumatic events which occur in childhood (0-17 years old). Nearly 61% of adults have reported experiencing at least one ACE during their childhood. ACEs include the following:

  • Substance abuse in the home
  • Parental separation or divorce
  • Mental illness in the home
  • Witnessing domestic violence
  • Suicidal household member
  • Death of a parent or another loved one
  • Parental incarceration
  • Experience of abuse or neglect

After experiencing COVID-19, one could add living during a pandemic to this list. Concern about ACEs continues to rise due to the long term effects the can have. The likelihood of having physical or mental health issues later in life increases in direct correlation to the amount of ACEs a person has experienced. Adults with ACEs go on to have unstable work histories along with difficulty forming healthy and stable relationships. These situations can be passed on to their children causing damage for generations. For many, time does not heal, it only conceals.

Being a trauma informed educator can go a long way to prevent these things from happening. Download my free checklist to get a jumpstart for the coming school year.


Join our free support group for educators who want to learn and share ideas about creating a trauma informed classroom.