Adverse childhood experiences can impact the way a child learns. Too often, we treat the behaviors of Black boys and fail to see the trauma they’ve dealing with daily.
Our oversight of trauma shuts down support for kids. One strategy for how schools can get teachers on board with supporting ways to support kids dealing with trauma is encourage teachers to engage with their students.
Worksheets and websites won’t tell us how children are feeling, thinking and functioning.
Former DFCS worker, Maya G. Miller, shares her thoughts on why teachers aren’t identifying trauma that impacting the way that children learn.
If we don’t know they are hurting how can we help them.
I have interviewed countless teachers and administrators who send the wrong referral; they are more focused on the fact that the child has the issue, but they aren’t focused on the why.
To them, their only concern is that the child is problematic; disruptive, combative, and defiant.
This interferes with learning.
It would be hard to believe that a child’s behavior could be a direct result of trauma in the home, especially if the child appears to be well taken care of.
We don’t have the same teachers we had growing up.
I remember my first-grade teacher at M.M. Bethune Elementary in Atlanta, washing the clothes of a few students whose parents didn’t have the means to do so themselves.
Every Friday, the children would bring their clothes to school that needed washing and she would take them home and wash them over the weekend.
On Monday she would discreetly distribute their clothing, in a black garbage bag, nicely folded. I don’t recall her asking any questions, she just saw the need and fulfilled it.
Social-emotional learning training for teachers improved early interventions!
Training is always necessary and important.
As educators, it is important to be solution-focused, to determine what areas are most needed in the homes and communities to deal with trauma. Teachers are mandated to intervene.
When we know better, we do better.
One example of implementing support is to continue trainings—training teachers on what to look for when it comes to children dealing with trauma.
Being the voice that combats the negativity that children encounter will help them succeed.
Another example would be building consensus and relationships with the families—this helps with academic achievement.
Having honest conversations with parents about child safety is also important for success.
We need to move from simply talking about what needs to change, and start helping families develop concrete action plans to help them succeed amidst the challenges.
Additional information on our featured guest; Maya G. Miller, Social Worker, [email protected]
Jason has worked in education for over 15 years as a teacher, blogger and community advocate. He speaks and writes primarily about the need to improve education for Black boys, particularly increasing the number of Black male educators in schools. In addition to blogging here at EdLanta, Jason is also a featured writer at Education Post.