Growing evidence supports the important relationship between trauma and academic failure. Along with the failure of "zero tolerance" policies to resolve issues of school safety and a new understanding of children's disruptive behavior, educators are changing the way they view children's academic and social problems. In response, the trauma-sensitive schools movement presents a new vision for promoting children's success. This book introduces this promising approach and provides K-5 education professionals with clear explanations of current research and dozens of practical, creative ideas.
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I have been working with traumatized children and their teachers in inner city schools for more than 25 years. I have read numerous books about childhood trauma. Susan Craig delivers again in her ability to convey rich, useful information with clarity and real-world strategies that can be readily integrated and applied. This book is a guide to help educators understand the core components of a trauma sensitive approach to education. She provides a framework for making decisions about the best way to integrate this approach into daily practice and school culture. After decades of experience as a teacher and independent consultant, Craig understands her audience. She has a uniquely comprehensive understanding of how pervasive and unrelenting stress impacts specific aspects of learning and development. She backs up her assertions with extensive and timely research to explain that, with the right type of instruction and emotional support, traumatized children can regain their ability to achieve academic and social mastery. She covers the important elements that will help teachers to help traumatized children learn including: the importance of safety and belonging; the impact of attachment; trauma’s effect on language development and literacy; addressing issues with executive functioning skills; working with the never-ending plasticity of the brain. She also bravely describes the causes of teacher attrition and burn out, providing concrete strategies that support teachers and help to build their capacity for this exceptionally challenging work. This book will appeal to all educators seeking to make an important difference in the lives of children who are traumatized.