Video: Trauma Informed Responses to Behavior

Trauma Informed Responses to Behavior

Resource 1: Five Critical Steps

Click here to download this resource in Word.

Five Critical Steps to Implementing a Trauma-Informed School
Adapted from “The Trauma Informed School” by Jim Sporleder and Heather T. Forbes

CONCEPT

MANTRA (this is your self-talk)

STRATEGY

  1. The stress is coming from outside of school.

It’s not about me.

Drop your personal mirror.

  1. Allow the student to de-escalate and regulate before solving the issue.

Problem solving and solutions can’t be worked through while “in the moment.”

Designate a quiet place(s) where students can feel safe to de-escalate.

  1. It’s never about the issue at hand. It goes much deeper.

What’s really driving this child’s behavior?

Be the one who listens and values the student’s voice.

Ask how you can help.

  1. It’s a brain issue, not a behavioral issue.

My job is to help this student regulate, not simply behave.

Incorporate regulatory activities into the culture of the classroom and support students in the ability to learn how to self-regulate.

  1. Discipline is to teach, not to punish.

Discipline should happen through the context of relationship.

When possible, use consequences that keep students in school and foster the building of trust and safety with caring adults.

Resource 2: Five Critical Steps Reflection Activity

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5 Critical Steps Reflection Activity

  1. What steps stand out to you as ones you are most well developed in? What steps do you have the most space for growth in?

 

 

 

 

 

  1. How are the steps currently being practiced (or not) in your classroom/school community?

 

 

 

 

 

  1. What might make this step easy or hard to practice in your classroom/at your school?

 

 

 

 

 

Resource 3: Responding vs Reacting Practice

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Responding vs. Reacting

Say this

Not that

Example: I need to know how hard this is for you.

It’s not that difficult.

 

Stop acting like that and go sit down.

 

Nobody is going to like you if you keep misbehaving.

 

I can’t help you with this issue I have 30 other children in this classroom.

 

You’re old enough to handle this on your own.

Resource 4: Classroom Strategies

Click here to download this list of classroom strategies in Word.

Responding Versus Reacting

In the left-hand column are some of the traditional reactions matched up with a new trauma-informed response in the right-hand column.

Traditional Reactions

Trauma-Informed Responses

“Go to the principal’s office.”

“I’m here. You’re not in trouble.”

“Stop crying.”

“It’s okay to feel.”

“Stop acting like a baby.”

“That really set you back, didn’t it?”

“Detention is waiting for you.”

“Sit with me.”

“Don’t you talk to an adult like that.”

“You’re allowed to have a voice. Let’s talk together.”

“You’re old enough to handle this on your own.”

“Let’s handle this together.”

“Stop whining.”

“I want to understand you better. If I know how you feel, I’ll be able to help you better. Use your voice so I can really understand.”

“It’s not that difficult.”

“I need to know how hard this is for you.”

“You should never have acted like that.”

“Sometimes life just gets too big, doesn’t it?”

“Act your age.”

“This is too big to keep to yourself.”

“I can’t help you with this issue. I’ve got 30 other children in the classroom.”

“We’ll get through this together. Every single student in this classroom is important.”

“I’m calling your parents. Wait until they find out.”

“Let’s get everyone involved to support you. You’re not in trouble. I want your parents involved so we can all find a way to make this better.”

“Nobody is going to like you if you keep misbehaving.”

“I know you want to be well liked, so let’s make that happen.”

“You need to take ownership.”

“I’m sorry this is so hard.”

From Sporleder, J., & Forbes, H. (2016). The Trauma-Informed School. Boulder, CO: Beyond Consequences Institute: p. 167

 

Classroom Strategies

STRATEGIES

GOAL

ELEMENTARY STRATEGIES

SECONDARY STRATEGIES

BUILD RELATIONSHIP

  • Leave a note on the student’s desk
  • Have a struggling student come to the classroom before school
  • Lunch with the principal
  • Connect with student during passing time
  • Assign mentor to Billy’s who need extra attention
  • Lunch with principal

BUILD SELF-ESTEEM

  • Affirmations
  • Story time
  • Affirmations

CREATE A CALM CLASSROOM

  • Warm lighting
  • Increase natural lighting if possible
  • Sound machine
  • Animals
  • Decrease wall hangings
  • Warm lighting
  • Increase natural lighting if possible
  • Sound machine
  • Animals
  • Decrease wall hangings

CREATE A “FAMILY” IN THE CLASSROOM

  • Pictures of each student on posterboard
  • Welcome each student by his/her name
  • Chart with “School Hierarchy”
  • Welcome each student by his/her name
  • Chart with “School Hierarchy”

FOCUS ON BREATHING

  • 2 min. meditation
  • Balloons
  • Bubbles
  • Pinwheels
  • Ring the Singing Bowl
  • Gonoodle.com
  • 10-15 min. meditation
  • Ring the Singing Bowl
  • Gonoodle.com
  • Pinwheels

FOCUS ON SAFETY

  • SafeZone in the classroom
  • Mantras
  • SafeZone in the classroom
  • Mantras
  • In School Suspension Room

FOCUS ON REGULATION VS. DYSREGULATION

  • Window of Stress Tolerance Worksheet
  • “Safe Keeper System”
  • Time-In
  • Before School
  • Anger Catcher
  • Calm Down Bottles
  • “Paint Chip” Plan
  • Picture
  • Phone call home
  • Coloring books
  • Listen to music
  • Stuffed animals
  • Teach Window of Stress Tolerance
  • Teach the Brain Science and the impact of trauma on the brain
  • Time-In
  • Knitting
  • Calm Down Bottles
  • “Paint Chip” Plan
  • Picture
  • Phone call or text home
  • Coloring books
  • Listen to music

PROVIDE MOVEMENT OPPORTUNITIES

  • Swinging
  • Rocking
  • Merry-go-round
  • Brain Gym ® exercises
  • Running
  • Gonoodle.com
  • Taped Pacing Area
  • Rocking
  • “Walk, Talk, and Regulate”
  • Brain Gym ® exercises
  • Running
  • Gonoodle.com

PROVIDE PURPOSE

  • Before School
  • Before School

PROVIDE NOURISHMENT

  • Have snacks and water available at all times
  • Have snacks and water available at all times

PROVIDE STRUCTURE

  • Be consistent
  • Keep Daily Schedule Visible
  • Create traditions
  • Be consistent
  • Keep Daily Schedule Visible
  • Create traditions

SUPPORT TRANSITIONING

  • Play soft music before the bell rings
  • Ringing the Singing Bowl to STOP
  • Have staff present in the hallways during passing time
  • Ringing the Singing Bowl to STOP

TEACH EMOTIONAL EXPRESSION

  • Basic Feeling Words
  • Story Time
  • Basic Feeling Words
  • Character Analysis

TEACH HOW TO IDENTIFY STRESS

  • Stress Indicator Form
  • Identify Visceral Reactions to Stress
  • Stress Indicator Form
  • Identify Visceral Reactions to Stress

TEACH PROBLEM SOLVING SKILLS AND CRITICAL THINKING SKILLS

  • Linguisystems
  • Character Analysis
  • Linguisystems
  • Character Analysis

TEACH SOCIAL SKILLS

  • Linguisystems
  • Group Sessions with Guidance Counselor
  • Use Autism resources
  • Linguisystems
  • Group Sessions with Guidance Counselor
  • Use Autism resources

Sporleder, J., & Forbes, H. (2016). The Trauma-Informed School. Boulder, CO: Beyond Consequences Institute: pages 180-182.