Students continue to struggle with the effects of trauma from the pandemic and their lives outside of school. To help school communities support healing and growth, four authors suggest strategies and policies based in research and their own experiences, writes Brenda Yoho.
In Identity Affirming Classrooms: Spaces that Center Humanity, Erica Buchanan-Rivera provides teachers with the background knowledge, reflection tools and actionable practices needed to create identity-aware, student-centered environments. For all educators, says Katie Durkin.
Stephanie Filio’s Responding to Student Trauma: A Toolkit for Schools in Times of Crisis provides a well-developed framework for school personnel to handle four sources of trauma. AP Virginia Hornberger notes it is a good starting point to develop a crisis plan of action.
In Equity-Centered Trauma-Informed Education, Alex Shevrin Venet has written not only to inform us but also to call us to reflect and take action, writes middle school leader Bill Ivey, who anticipates readers will evaluate their practices to find areas for improvement.
In relating to students experiencing trauma, teachers need to consider boundaries – how much we share of ourselves and how we respect our students’ personal spaces. Alex Shevrin Venet offers her insights about equity and trauma in school and ways to respond and build bridges.
“Supporting the Wounded Educator” is an insightful and helpful book much needed right now, says teacher educator Linda Biondi. It guides teachers to focus on what they can do to lessen trauma for themselves and their community through wellness and self-care initiatives.
For those with positive stories, social-emotional learning helps reinforce the skills they need to succeed. For those with stories of trauma, SEL can help balance negative experiences with positive ones. Author-educator Marilee Sprenger shows how brain research can help.
As they teach vulnerable students, veteran and new teachers will benefit from reading Suzy Pepper Rollins’ well organized and conversationally written book full of data, strategies, and a clear understanding of the real-world struggles we face, writes Laura Von Staden.
In Enticing Hard-To-Reach Writers, Ruth Ayres offers wide ranging ideas and resources to help all students become writers because “when writers believe their words matter, nothing can stop them.” We begin, reviewer Mary Langer Thompson notes, by getting our hearts right.