Trauma Informed Teaching: Improve Behavior, Build Connection and Increase Learning

Date: Thursday, July 19, 2018

9:00 - 3:00 pm

Registration: 8:30 am 

Cost: $120 for members/$240 for non members

***Participants will receive 6hours of CTLE credit*** 

UAlbany Health Sciences Campus - Cafe Conference Room

As an educator, you are faced with the challenge of meeting the social and emotional needs of ALL your students.  This can be challenging enough with typical learners but it is even more difficult with those who have experienced trauma or have mental health challenges.  Students with trauma, including those living in poverty, often exhibit extremely challenging behavior and it can be difficult to make a connection with them.  A low frustration tolerance, angry outbursts or difficult social relationships with peers all get in the way of teaching and learning in the classroom. Despite the amount of time teachers invest in behavior charts, traffic lights or incentives for good behavior, traditional behavioral approaches to classroom management and a punitive approach to discipline simply are not effective.  

A trauma-informed approach greatly reduces challenging behavior, improves student engagement and increases learning outcomes. When a student has experienced trauma, he/she often spends much of the day in fight/flight/freeze mode which limits the capacity to learn. The outwardly aggressive or irritable behaviors also disrupt the flow in the classroom, requiring time and attention from the teacher. This approach includes forming positive relationships, a strengths-based approach and supportive interactions between adult and student.  You will leave with new strategies, tools and resources that you can implement immediately.  While this positive approach is absolutely essential for students with trauma, it will also greatly benefit every student in your classroom.

Participants Will Learn: 

  • How to recognize trauma in students 

  • How the brain reacts to trauma

  • The relationship between poverty and mental health challenges 

  • Techniques to establish supportive relationships with students 


I. Recognizing Trauma in Students 
        * Fight, Flight or Freeze Responses: How it Manifests in School
        *Wired for Fear: Impact on the Whole Child
        *ACES – Adverse Childhood Experiences Study and Survey
        *The Role of Poverty and Mental Health Challenges

  II. Discipline in a Trauma-Informed Classroom 
        *Changing Your Mindset: Punitive vs. Collaborative
        *Strategies to Foster Intrinsic Motivation
        *How You Respond: Case Study and Discussion
        *3 Steps to Implement a Collaborative Approach 


 III. Neuroplasticity: The Brain’s Ability to Adapt and Rewire
        *Establishing and Strengthening New Neural Pathways that Lead to Adaptive Responses


IV. Techniques to Develop New Ways of Responding
        *Slow Down, Stop and Think
        *Respond Rather than React
        *Social Stories

  V. Techniques to Incorporate the 4 R’s
        *Rhythmic:  Rocking, Dancing, Music, Drumming, Running
        *Repetitive:  Practice the adaptive response over and over
        *Relational:  Interaction with Another Person
        *Rewarding:  Activity or Outcome the Child Enjoys


VI. Relationships as a Protective Factor 
        *The Neuroscience of Forming Positive Relationships
        *The Effects of Establishing Supportive Relationships

  VII. Techniques to Form Positive Relationships
        *Level 1—Invite a Relationship
        *Level 2—Nurture the Relationship 
        *Level 3—Leverage the Relationship

Conference Facilitator: 

Jennifer Bashant, Ph.D - CASDA Faculty

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University at Albany 
1400 Washington Ave
Catskill B27
Albany, NY 12222  

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