Today, more children are arriving at school with significant social and emotional vulnerabilities due to the chronic stress and trauma of the pandemic. Our students have experienced stress and trauma in the past, but this moment is unique because the experience is more universally shared. This period is also exceptional because our teachers have experienced the chronic stress, loss, and uncertainty of the pandemic as well as our students. Teachers are often given the role of superheroes in our society, but we cannot ask teachers to give of themselves what they do not have. While it is urgent we address our students’ social and emotional needs, it is equally urgent that we address the needs of our teachers, if they are going to help students.
This podcast will address hands-on activities and strategies for supporting teachers and students with care and connection. Language allows us to identify and express our emotions. Our use of language to assist in our efforts to connect with our students can transform traditional instruction into “trauma-informed” instruction. Language and connection have the power to heal. Connecting with students does not cost money and can create a climate and culture that can change a child’s life.