Trauma-Informed Teaching Strategies
Trauma-informed teaching strategies are essential in classrooms that serve students who have experienced trauma. When teaching about trauma, educators must take into account the unique experiences and needs of each student. The following are five trauma-informed teaching strategies that can be used in any classroom.
1. Use a trauma-informed approach to teaching history. When covering historical events, educators should avoid trauma-reinforcing language and images. Instead, they should focus on the facts of the event and how it has impacted the lives of the people involved.
2. Use trauma-informed teaching strategies when discussing social justice issues. When discussing topics such as racism, poverty, and sexual assault, educators should use language that is sensitive to the experiences of marginalized groups. For example, they can use terms like “minority group” or “underprivileged group” instead of “white people” or “rich people.”
3. Use trauma-informed teaching strategies when covering climate change. When discussing topics such as the effects of climate change, educators should take into account the specific experiences of communities that are disproportionally affected by climate change. For example, they can use terms like “environmentally-sensitive community” or “low-income community” instead of “middle-class community” or “wealthy community.”
4. Use trauma-informed teaching strategies when discussing sexual health. When discussing topics such as contraception and sexually transmitted infections, educators should use language that is sensitive to the experiences of LGBTQIA+ students and students who have experienced trauma. For example, they can use terms like “same-sex couple” or “person with an STI” instead of “heterosexual couple” or “person without an STI.”
5. Use a trauma-informed approach when teaching mathematics. When teaching mathematics, educators should focus on the principles of mathematics and how they can be applied to real-world situations. They should avoid using trauma-reinforcing language, images, and analogies. For example, they can use the phrase “like adding 2 and 2” instead of “two plus two equals four.”