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Tips for educators on trauma

This article was originally published in The Notebook. In August 2020, The Notebook became Chalkbeat Philadelphia.

If a student… This might help
Shows obvious signs of sadness, acts clingy Listen to concerns and feelings. Educate students about different trauma reactions.
Experiences behavior problems that were not as serious before Stay calm, set limits. Try to get the student back into a regular classroom routine.
Has trouble concentrating, paying attention, or getting work done on time Focus on the present with gentle reminders. Consider modifying work or adding structure.
Seems sleepy or irritable due to lack of sleep Suggest healthy sleep habits, like not viewing,a computer or TV screen right before bed. Consider adjusting work deadlines until sleep is stabilized.
Experiences typical trauma reactions such as stomach aches, pounding heart, body aches, fast and shallow breathing Understand that these may make the student fearful. Teach relaxation strategies such as slow breathing, stretching, physical activity.
– Adapted from the National Child Trauma Stress Network

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