I have a bee in my bonnet about the problem we all seem to have about using the word “trauma.” A person said to me recently that she wanted me to impart my knowledge to teachers without talking about trauma because it isn’t something teachers need to be concerned about. With everything going on in the world today, and in our own country here at home, it is just shocking to me that some teachers don’t know that if they are in front of a classroom of children everyday they are dealing with the effects of trauma – divorce, reconstituted families, death, illness, medical procedures, car accidents, bullying, racism, childhood obesity (an indicator of trauma in many cases), poverty, homelessness, hunger, lack of health insurance, substance abuse, community violence, every kind of abuse, not to mention that children are in front of television and video games instead of outside in nature where healing is more likely to occur. Teachers should not be required to take on the role of therapist, and it is not necessary. They can and should operate within the parameters of their own role and know that there are simple yet powerful things they can do – or not do – to be the difference in a child’s life. Let’s at least start with recognizing what we are dealing with…the effects of, uh-oh, here’s that word again, trauma.
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