Reclaiming School in the Aftermath of Trauma: Advice Based on Experience

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Overview

September 11. . . Virginia Tech . . . Columbine . . . Hurricane Katrina . . . Traumatic events with long lasting consequences. Lives are upended, safety is threatened, and all are forced to find a way to adapt to a new normal. Educators in schools where students have experienced trauma face difficult challenges, for how are they to promote academic growth and attainment of educational goals in such a situation? Reclaiming School in the Aftermath of Trauma offers wisdom born of experience as well as insights ...

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Reclaiming School in the Aftermath of Trauma: Advice Based on Experience

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Overview

September 11. . . Virginia Tech . . . Columbine . . . Hurricane Katrina . . . Traumatic events with long lasting consequences. Lives are upended, safety is threatened, and all are forced to find a way to adapt to a new normal. Educators in schools where students have experienced trauma face difficult challenges, for how are they to promote academic growth and attainment of educational goals in such a situation? Reclaiming School in the Aftermath of Trauma offers wisdom born of experience as well as insights acquired through years of study. Authors contributing to this text share their experiences in the aftermath of tragedy and describe helpful approaches for reclaiming school after trauma interrupts the lives of students, faculty, and school communities.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"This one is hard to put down! By meeting numerous individuals who have survived the pain of disaster and the healing of recovery, readers learn how to confront future events so as to become not just who they are, but who they would like to be. Experiences from school shootings ranging from Columbine and Platte Canyon High Schools, Virginia Tech, and the Jokela School Center in Tuusula, Finland, are juxtaposed with those who survived Katrina, the 9/11 attacks, and school bullying. We leave with an enriched understanding of how pain can be put to work. The writing is crisp; the analyses are told by those who actually were there; and the lessons provide food for thought to all, be they teachers, administrators, parents, or community members. A must-read!" - Thomas E. Drabek, author of The Human Side of Disaster; Professor Emeritus, University of Denver

"Reclaiming School in the Aftermath of Trauma is a must-read. The strategies shared by Carolyn Mears are a great resource for any school that is faced with tragedy. The stories shared are inspirational for readers to see how communities and schools were able to overcome adversity in their lives and communities and provide a road map to recovery.' - Frank DeAngelis, Principal, Columbine High School

"This book has particular relevance to international schools because these schools are often located in unstable countries or places where the risks are higher for terrorism or catastrophic events. Equally important to taking preventative measures is to prepare for the aftermath of an unforeseen trauma or catastrophe. By presenting the varied real life accounts this book provides a framework for every school administration to ask the questions that will help develop a plan that is best for each unique school." –Katherine Johnson, Director, Human Resources, Singapore American School

"Carolyn Mears . . . provides an excellent firsthand analysis of the reactions and phases individuals experience on the pathway to recovery. She also provides a variety of practical and realistic activities to help with the recovery process." - John Nicoletti, Police Psychologist, Nicoletti-Flater Associates

"This book should be required reading on every campus, regardless of size. Recent history has shown no school is immune to random violence. Carolyn Mears offers a guide to responding to the unthinkable; a practical map to shortening the road to recovery." - Donald Donahue, Assistant Professor, University of Maryland; Former Program Director, Health Policy & Preparedness at the Potomac Institute for Policy

'Reclaiming School in the Aftermath of Trauma: Advice Based on Experience is an excellent text for educators who wish to learn about and take preventative measures against traumatic events and random violence. The compilation, through the inclusion of varied real-life accounts, is also beneficial to those currently facing the aftermath of an unexpected trauma.' - Susan Delaney, Association of Texas Professional Educators News

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781137268549
  • Publisher: Palgrave Macmillan
  • Publication date: 5/8/2012
  • Pages: 252
  • Sales rank: 660,636
  • Product dimensions: 5.50 (w) x 8.40 (h) x 0.60 (d)

Meet the Author

Carolyn L. Mears is the author of the award-winning study Experiences of Columbine Parents: Finding a Way to Tomorrow and Interviewing for Education and Social Science Research: The Gateway Approach, holds a research position, serves on the Graduate School of Social Work Trauma Certificate Board, and is dissertation advisor and adjunct faculty at the Morgridge College of Education, University of Denver.

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Table of Contents

SECTION ONE: Understanding Trauma
• Chapter 1: Trauma comes to school
• Chapter 2: Trauma’s effect on the brain: An overview for educators
• Chapter 3: Pretending to do school
• SECTION TWO: Learning from the experience
• Chapter 4: Hurricane Katrina and the Children of Louisiana 
• Chapter 5: Inner-city Charter School in post-Katrina New Orleans: A Principal’s perspective
• Chapter 6: Reclaiming the New York Law School 
• Chapter 7: Who’s looking out for the students? 
• Chapter 8: “You don’t learn these things in principal school”
• Chapter  9: Not here, not at Columbine 
• Chapter 10: Aftercare support for school personnel after a school shooting in Finland 
• Chapter 11: Burbaned into memory: Remnants of bullying and personal victimization 
• Chapter 12: Community – just getting through this: Bailey, Colorado 
• SECTION THREE: Putting the pain to work 
• Chapter 13:  Recommendations & implications
• Chapter 14: Resources 

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Customer Reviews

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Sort by: Showing all of 3 Customer Reviews
  • Posted August 12, 2012

    I highly recommend Dr. Carolyn Mears' book: Reclaiming School in

    I highly recommend Dr. Carolyn Mears' book: Reclaiming School in the Aftermath of Trauma: Advice Based on Experience. As a 15-year professional educator and researcher of youth violence, I can firmly say that this book makes an effective case for empathetic and compassionate teaching and leading. Mears' book is filled with articles/writings from individuals close to national tragedies, including the Columbine shooting, 9-11, Hurricane Katrina, etc. Mears went to the real source of advice; educators who lived through horrific conditions with their students and communities and somehow emerged to effectively share their pain and experiences. Furthermore, they share their passion for ensuring that communities and school officials remember that life is different after a tragedy, and leadership must be different. Because Mears is a Columbine parent whose own son survived the tragedy, one might imagine that the book keeps a narrow focus on shootings or similar tragedies, but that is absolutely not the case. In fact, the book begins with a broad explanation of the "aftermath" of trauma. The author explains that students experience trauma on a regular basis. It does not take a shooting to result in PTSD or a need for mental health interventions. Students and their families can be traumatized by regular community violence, events they see on t.v., or other circumstances separated from the daily life of schooling. But schooling is a continuous process, and the real-world trauma of youth makes its way to the classroom on a regular basis. Mears collects the advice of those who have survived trauma to explain that the road back is not easy. The road back to "normalcy" is complicated by educators rarely trained in traumatic response. Mears writes: "Educators, however, are generally not given any preparation for working with students who are suffering from traumatic stress....educators are rarely taught how to adjust their instructional practice to meet the special needs that arise" (p.4). So true! This book is a must-read for safe school directors, school leaders, and post-secondary institutions training our future educators. Trauma and tragedy are real, and we will never find school buildings devoid of youth facing trauma or tragedy. As a result, we must empower ourselves to know how to approach this educational barrier with compassion and credibility. Mears initiates the conversation that must surround this process. Great book!! Lori D. Brown, Ed.D

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  • Posted July 20, 2012

    Carolyn Mears has approached a delicate subject with sensitivity

    Carolyn Mears has approached a delicate subject with sensitivity and care, in a way that allows us to grieve with the subjects, while learning about the complexities of trauma and traumatic events. Sadly, we are learning about our reactions and responses in real-time. I firmly believe that every school, every business, every household, every person should have a copy of this book. Carolyn allows us an intimate view into not only the experiences of those who have lived through and with these events, but into her own experience as a Columbine Mom and community member as well. Please read this book. Then pass it on.

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  • Posted June 5, 2012

    A must have

    This book needs to be on every parent, teachers, and school administrators book shelf. This book can change lives and the responses we make in our lives. well written, clean information.

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