University of St. Thomas Magazine Fall/Winter 2020


Children bring their whole selves into the classroom – their circumstances, their real-life experiences and their emotions. For some, that includes trauma triggered by traumatic events and situations experienced outside of school. Educators often don’t know how to de-escalate these issues and sometimes respond in unhelpful ways. A training designed to help teachers proactively identify and address these issues could soon find its way into the curriculum for all St. Thomas education majors, and judging by reactions to a new online trauma-informed teaching course, it could be a game changer. As a former kindergarten teacher, School of Education Dean Kathlene Holmes Campbell knows students aren’t a blank slate when entering a classroom. But the key is to be proactive, not reactive, she said. With trauma-informed training, issues can be dealt with appropriately in a manner that helps, not harms, students.

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