Practical Tips for Trauma-Informed Teaching Practices

On Wednesday, September 8, CLT Director Rebecca Mills offered a practical, interactive workshop on trauma-informed teaching. This workshop followed up on some of the ideas presented by Drs. Kim Quinn and Barbara Colombo in their Resilience Conference keynote on complex trauma the same day. We’re aware that many faculty could not make it to the in-person event. If you missed the workshop, read on to explore the activities on your own! The workshop handout gives a more detailed overview of the content (Champlain login required).

Trauma is a complicated emotional, physical, and cognitive response to short-term events or long-term situations that someone has experienced. Trauma-informed practices in teaching do not attempt to take the place of mental health treatment; rather, they are intended to help students who have experienced trauma feel safe, healthy, and ready to learn in the class setting. This workshop invites us to change our own thinking, behaviors, communication and management style so that we do not unintentionally do harm to/trigger students who have experienced trauma in their lives.

Start out by watching this video, by Edinboro University social work faculty member Janice Carello. Carello explores what trauma-informed teaching and learning looks like in the context of Covid-19.

Now explore the activities and reflection questions in the slides. If you like, you can use this Google form to respond to the activities as you go (Champlain login required). Note that the form will collect your email address in order to send you a copy of your responses so you can keep your reflections. These responses are not used for any purpose; they are visible to CLT staff members, but we do not review them. If you are uncomfortable having them recorded in a way that is associated with your email, we recommend you record your reflections in your own notebook, or just use the activities as thinking prompts.