The main assignment in our Field Experience course is to come up with an inquiry question, then to compile as much knowledge as possible on the subject, then exhibit our findings at a gallery walk at the end of the semester. I’ve included my inquiry question below.
How we can support students with a history of trauma when their history begins to affect their classroom learning experience?
Specifically, I aim to
- do some basic research on how children process a painful experience. This could help to prepare me for the ways that process could play out within a classroom setting.
- learn the kind of terminology that recognizes “inappropriate behaviour” as the complicated event that it often is so that kids no longer view themselves as “bad” but rather recognize that they are processing a bad experience.
- compile as many useful tools as possible that could could allow me to maintain a safe environment if/when a student’s behaviour begins to escalate in a way that could threaten the safety of other students.
- identify key strategies to prevent these situations from happening by teaching students to recognize their own emotions and identify ways to deal with their particular struggle in a way that is appropriate for them.
- (If/when these situations do happen) outline some exercises that could help students debrief about a situation they may have found traumatic.
- find resources for teaching empathy to students who witness another student’s outbursts.
- compile all of these resources on an easily accessible space (this blog) so that other teachers can also look through them for inspiration or ideas.
Throughout the semester I will attempt to write short posts about resources that I find extremely helpful. To prepare for the gallery walk, I will compile all these posts into a table of contents so that I can easily refer back to them later.