Childhood trauma and stress resides in every classroom and in every school. We live in a complex and arduous society where adults and children alike face chronic stress and demand. Children who live in poverty are at higher risks for exposure to trauma particularly, although kids from all backgrounds can face grief or abuse in their lifetime. Understanding the impact life experiences can have on children is important and how stress and trauma impact brain development and childhood behaviors can be key to unraveling the ball of learning.
By now, we are all familiar with the siren of low test scores. Alternatively, we hear just how very hard schools are working to serve their students. They are trying new things; implementing new programs; differentiating more instruction. But still, we are seeing test scores stagnant or falling. What is happening here? Where is the disconnect between what schools are doing and the results in student achievement? Teachers and leaders will say that they are serving very difficult populations and success is more complicated than test scores. But expectations need to remain high for all students, regardless of their circumstance, right?
This is the first blog post in a series that will uncover the social-emotional support systems needed in schools to support students who are exposed to trauma and stress.