When a student faces challenges of different sorts, it not only impacts their academic performance but also affects their overall well-being. When teachers are compassionate and helpful, students can overcome such obstacles. This way, teachers invest in the future success of their students. And this support can take many forms, such as academic assistance, financial aid, emotional support, or access to various resources. However, in some cases, emotional support is the most critical type since emotions shape who a person is.
Emotionally stable students are more likely to lead successful lives. According to a study by the National Association of School Psychologists, students who feel a strong emotional connection to their teachers are more likely to exhibit positive behaviors, such as academic engagement, resilience, and self-esteem. The guidance and empathy of a teacher can have a profound impact on a student.
Additionally, this kind of support can assist the students in navigating challenging personal experiences like bullying or family problems. It offers a safe and healthy atmosphere for them to learn and develop.
Trauma in students
Life is very unpredictable. Trauma may come in any form, such as exposure to violence, abuse, neglect, or various other forms. It can leave long-lasting and scarring effects on a person’s mental and emotional health. Students who have experienced trauma may struggle with fear, anxiety, anger, or unexplained emotions.
It also makes it very challenging for them to concentrate in the classroom or retain anything they studied. They may sometimes exhibit problematic unexplained behaviors such as withdrawing socially. It may hurt their relationship with the other students or their teachers.
Teachers and institutions must take active and conscious actions to recognize the signs and symptoms of trauma in students and provide appropriate help and support for them to heal and overcome the effects of their trauma. Let us discuss what they should do.
One of the most crucial factors for teachers in such situations is to be well-informed and caught up on the subject because there are times when teachers have to deal with trauma-induced students directly.
There are multiple ways teachers can further their knowledge of mental health and trauma, such as reading up on existing literature on the subject or attending trauma-informed workshops and seminars to broaden their expertise.
Teachers can even enroll in a Master’s in school counseling online so that they are prepared to handle students with trauma with more confidence. It could be a good option since it will not require teachers to commute or compromise their teaching job.
You can understand the importance of such programs by the fact that in many cases, teachers may have the empathy and keen intention to help a student, but they may lack the necessary knowledge to do it successfully.There is no replacement for specialized training in anything.
Acknowledge their trauma
It is human nature that any adverse experience can become even more painful if there is no one to acknowledge the pain or understand the experience in the first place. The worst thing a student can face is that their feelings and emotions do not get addressed. As a teacher, it is your responsibility to acknowledge their struggles and the trauma that they are going through.
Sometimes their suffering or condition may seem minor, and you may think it is not a big deal. But it would be best if you dig deeper than that.
The key is understanding where the student is coming from so that the student feels supported and understood. Disregarding their feelings may end up worsening their trauma.
Baby steps, when taken regularly, are more fruitful than giant leaps without consistency. As a teacher, you must maintain consistency for students with trauma since structure and stability help them to function. It may include establishing a daily routine that will give such students peace and predictability. Examples are consistent class schedules or transition times and set checklists for various activities. It can also involve forming some rules and consequences for disruptive behaviors and following through them consistently.
Develop peer support
Just like peer pressure is a negative phenomenon, peer support is a genuinely positive thing to experience for someone struggling with life. Teachers can play a critical role in creating a supportive and inclusive environment for students who have experienced trauma. Promoting communication amongst peers and fostering a sense of community in the classroom will help achieve peer support.
When trauma-induced individuals feel safe in a non-judgmental environment, they will be more willing to share their feelings, thoughts, and experiences. Peer support will help teachers create a favorable and secure classroom environment that will enable such students to heal and recover.
Get professional support and help when necessary
Teachers can collaborate with professionals to implement evidence-based trauma-informed practices in the classroom. They can create a safe and supportive learning environment and modify teaching practices to meet the needs of such students. In cases where the trauma is severe and requires specialized treatment, teachers can assist in referring the student and their family to appropriate mental health services.
By utilizing professional help, teachers can ensure that students who have experienced trauma receive the support they need to succeed emotionally and academically. Many professionals worldwide are into such endeavors not just for money but with a genuine desire to help others and improve other lives.
Helping students who have experienced trauma is a crucial responsibility for teachers and the educational community. By promoting peer support, utilizing professional help, and implementing trauma-informed practices, teachers can create a safe and supportive environment for students to heal and thrive.
It also includes understanding the different types of trauma, the signs and symptoms, and the long-term impacts. It’s important to remember that every student’s experience with trauma is unique, and a one-size-fits-all approach is ineffective.
Teachers must approach each student with empathy, understanding, and a willingness to work collaboratively to support their needs. By working together and taking a holistic approach, teachers and the educational community can help students who have experienced trauma overcome their challenges and reach their full potential.