When teachers know a student has experienced trauma, they’re better prepared to support the student’s educational and emotional needs. But often, students won’t say anything. So how can teachers know if students don’t tell them?
The first step is to take note of any change in behavior, since it could be a signal that something is going on. A normally outgoing student may become more reserved. A student who is typically organized may suddenly be missing assignments.
Keep in mind that if the trauma happened or started in previous years, teachers might see these behavioral issues within the first few weeks of school. Students whose severe or ongoing trauma goes unnoticed may even have a reputation for having behavior issues.
Potential signs of trauma:
Overreactions to everyday challenges
Negative outbursts or aggression
Frequent stomachaches or headaches
Appearing very sad
Inappropriate social interactions
Trouble with executive functions like focus, organization, and self-regulation
Falling behind with classwork
Many of these behaviors could also be caused by other issues. Students might have a medical condition, anxiety, or learning and thinking differences.
Educators: Learn how to use
to help uncover what might be causing certain behaviors.