In early August, the PIAL team welcomed Jessica Stagg to our team meeting to present about Trauma-Informed Care—specifically how it relates to the classroom. Jessica recently completed a Master’s Degree in Education, specifically in trauma-informed care, and special education. Her passion lies in trauma-informed care and stems from her role as a mother and educator.
During this professional development opportunity, the PIAL team learned how to facilitate and create an inviting classroom through Trauma-Informed Care. Jessica taught us to focus on connecting with the student first and then worrying about the content. Some students won’t be ready to be engaged with the content because they simply have other things going on. An important take away from the workshop is that trauma changes the make-up of the brain and the child or student lacks control for their behavior and educational performance. When presenting across the state of Iowa, we only engage with students briefly, but we were able to brainstorm with Jessica and as a team, how to incorporate Trauma-Informed Classroom principles even with our limited time. When introducing ourselves on visits, we will be sharing a simple, interesting fact about ourselves or a light-hearted question like “Do you sleep with your socks on or off?” to grab their attention and further the connection with the students. The simplicity of adding something so small to our visits is just the start of our team facilitating a Trauma-Informed Classroom.
Overall, the PIAL team is thankful for the time and teaching Jessica shared with us. We are constantly looking to improve and are eager to implement those improvements from this recent professional development workshop. The PIAL team is looking forward to sharing our Trauma-Informed Care practices with your students this fall!