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  • Nick Luhring

Trauma Informed Practices (TIP)

From Light City, Baltimore, representing the spirits of youth.

Ever wonder what shift is occurring in our schools to make it easier for students to deal with their Adverse Childhood Experiences or Adverse Community Environments (pair of ACEs)? After all, dealing with the ACEs of students helps to alleviate some of the strain of a violent past or environment and assists in breaking the traditional cycle of violence.

Trauma Informed Practices (or TIP) are practices for schools, public health initiatives, mental/behavioral health practices, youth services, and law enforcement to be able to coordinate with the knowledge of normally stigmatized traumas. Some of the practices they have put into place are:

1. Social and Emotional Learning Curriculum:People can experience trauma at any time in life, so being able to give youth the tools to deal with them in the context of Social and Emotional Learning (SEL) is extremely important. This means curriculum for students and teachers alike. It also means that principals are given the tools to be able to enact practices according to their school's needs.

2. Peace Corner: a much better variant of wearing a dunce cap while sitting alone facing a wall, the "Peace Corner" is a place for students to go to to self-regulate their emotions. They may complete a short questionnaire where they circle which emotion they are feeling overwhelmed by and briefly explain why. This helps students recognize their emotions and develop strategies for managing them.

3. One-on-One Mentorship: sometimes that best resource is a person who has already been through it. Providing a mentor to each and every student is an incredibly valuable way to check in with kids on a regular basis. It helps inform staff about what is going on in the mind's of the students. It can also go a long way to making each student feel connected and reduce their risks of being victimized by violent behavior later on.

4. Teacher Support: different methods for developing Social and Emotional Learning for teachers can also go a long way. If a teacher is feeling overwhelmed, they may act in an ill-advised manner toward their students or other teachers. Having staff support can help teachers feel confident that their actions towards students and co-workers will always be as positive as possible.

A great example comes from Fall Hamilton Elementary school in Nashville, TN: Click here to read and watch!


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