This post has tugged at my heart for months. 

How do we help our students who come to school living in or with trauma? 

When I read this article, I felt as if it had been written for me. Then, I thought, I must not be alone. 

You see, I have had students like this. Students who at such a young age are overwhelmed by circumstances, often beyond their control. Students who are hurt. 

Each person handles these circumstances in different ways. As a child, I too, came to school hurting; wishing for better. How did I cope? Well, I retreated. I tried not to stand out but blend in. Hoping that no one would see the emotional pain I was in. As a result, school became my safe haven; a place where I could escape from my childhood trauma.

Today, as a teacher, I see my students act upon their trauma in different ways. While some may retreat like me, others, escalate, meltdown and go into fits of rage. What I have learned is that the child is not purposefully acting out. Instead, it is a cry for help.

There are some things that I can do to allow for success and to help.

Although, not an expert, here is some advice that I have learned over the years.

First and foremost, be mindful. Show respect and love for the child. Be willing to listen. Create a calm environment. Keep calm. Seek help. Show unconditional acceptance. Be willing to be vulnerable with the child. Forgive. Trust. Nurture. Be a champion. Advocate. Let them be little. Repeat.

Only, then, can you begin to teach strategies to handle one's emotions.

As a teacher, you may never see the "effects" of your work but know in your heart that you did good. Children in trauma need us. I know. I was that little girl.

April is Child Abuse Prevention Month. This year's theme is Building Community, Building Hope. For more information or help, you may want to visit here.


  1. I love your thoughts here! I, too, teach children that are hurting from situations that are beyond their control. Some of them express their hurts in very unloving ways, and of course, they are the ones that need the love the most. And I don't mind admitting how very difficult it is to give it to them sometimes! It's hard to be everything to everyone at once.
    Thank you for reminding us of the truths here, and how to handle them. And thank you for loving these children!
    Heidi Butkus

    1. Thank you, Heidi for your kind words. This is a topic that we don't often talk much about in our blogging community but one that is of great importance.

  2. Hope is my one little word this year; I love that you're nurturing hope in our littles learners. It's an AmAzInG gift! Thank you for being that champion that Rita referenced.

    1. Hope is my word as well. Thank you so much for guidance. I am hopeful that together we can make a difference.


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