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Creating a Trauma Sensitive K-12 Classroom


Sonequa Reeves, M.Ed



Course Description:

A course for K-12 educators interested in learning strategies for working

with students who have experienced trauma. Primary emphasis on this course will be

understanding the effect of trauma on school age children developing and using strategies to

reach children in trauma and develop lesson plans on trauma to use in the classroom.


Lesson Objectives:

      Come to a common understanding of the concept and definition of trauma

      Attain a basic understanding of how trauma affects the brain and the nervous system

      Identify common indicators of trauma

      Understand the implications of these effects on learning and on students in an educational setting

      Demonstrate understanding of these concepts and how they inform instructional practice

      Create a plan for self-care using tools for teacher well-being


Learning Experiences:

Completion of all specified assignments is required for issuance of credit. 


Materials Needed:

      Computer with access to the internet

      Gmail Account required


List of  Recommended Texts:

Souers, Kristin Author (2016)

Hall, Peter, Author

Fostering Resilient Learners: Strategies for Creating a Trauma-Sensitive Classroom


Iberline, Jeanie M (2017)

Ruyle, Mike

Cultivating Mindfulness in the Classroom



Module One:

      Social Emotional Daily Check In (One)

      Assignment #1: Introduce yourself, include your background, experience in education, and reasons for taking this course.  ( 2 page minimum requirement)

      Assignment #2: Independent Reading: Ch 1 Understanding Trauma and the Prevalence of the Not-OK: Chapter Summary ( minimum 1 page)

       Assignment #3: TED Talk: How Childhood Trauma Affects Health Across a Lifetime Summary Response to TED Talk ( minimum 1 page)


Module Two:

      Social Emotional Daily Check In (Two)

      Assignment #4: Independent Reading: Ch 2: The Manifestation of ACEs in the Classroom (chapter summary one page minimum)

      Assignment #5: TED Talk: How teachers can help students navigate trauma (one page minimum summary)

      Assignment #6: Independent Reading : Ch1~Research & Theory and Ch 2 Stress Reduction  ( use these chapters to begin thinking about final project)


Module Three:

      Social Emotional Daily Check In (Three)

      Assignment #7: TED Talk: How to Fix a Broken School? Lead Fearlessly, Love Hard     ( one page minimum summary)

      Assignment #8: TED Talk: Flipping Your Lid: A Scientific Explanation (one page minimum summary)

      Assignment #9: Independent Reading: Ch 3: Cement Shoes: Staying True to Who You Are

      Assignment #10: Independent Reading: Ch 4: Staying Out of Oz: Remaining Grounded Amid Chaos.



 Module Four:

      Social Emotional Daily Check In (Four)

      Assignment #11: TED Talk: Every Kid needs a Champion Summary Response TED Talk ( minimum 1 page)

      Assignment #12: TED Talk: Creative Ways to Get Kids to Thrive in School Summary Response TED Talk ( minimum 1 page)

      Assignment #13: Final Assignment

      Option #1: Find 5 resources online that provide additional learning in any of the following areas:

      Trauma-informed teaching

      Trauma and the brain and or self-care for teachers

      Option #2: Identify 5 things that your current school or district or previous school or district could initiate or change in order to better serve the needs of students experiencing trauma and teachers working with traumatized students. ( If you are not associated with a school or district, develop a plan that could be implemented at most schools and districts).

Your plan can include professional development ,wellness time/activities, specific interventions, supports, curricula, communication plan etc.



Module Five:

      Social Emotional Daily Check In (Five)

      Course Evaluation





      10%= Social Emotional Check Ins

      10%= Introduction

      20%= Chapter Readings

      60%= summaries and video discussions


** Syllabus tentative and subject to change at the instructor’s discretion.



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