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Just School. Just Growth (Session 1 of 3) - Intersection of SEL & Trauma: Healing Relationships for Resilience

Equity, Social-Emotional Learning, TMI Education-Envision

 Just School. Just Growth: The Path to Student Agency

Just:  /jəst/ adjective based on or behaving according to what is morally right and fair.

All learning is social and emotional, but to truly thrive, students require equitable and trauma-informed learning spaces.  Equity, Trauma-informed, and SEL work as instrumental in reducing toxic stress and creating safe, nurturing, and stable environments for each child. It is here where we will be successful at closing the pervasive opportunity gap

Overarching Goals:

We are excited for you to join us on this journey! We will use this integrated roadmap to create and maintain learning spaces where each student feels and is – safe, connected, supported, and challenged.  Each session contains the recursive threads of SEL, Equity and Healing Informed practices for Trauma that encourage us to reimagine, reinvent classrooms and schools around the principles of equity, authentic learning, and stronger relationships.  

Collaboratively, we will map the connections among these three driving initiatives to quell overwhelm and ensure PD is balanced and focused on our unique needs. Every session makes concrete connections between what we are doing in our daily practices and larger outcomes.

All of our Just School. Just Growth: A Path to Student Agency sessions are led by its program developer, Sharon McCarthy, popular TMI-ENVISION SEL Specialist/Lead Consultant, ENVISION President dynamic presenter and author.

Note: According to a CORE Education report (2017) the benefits of student agency are: Students take ownership of their learning; Students develop self-regulating skills; and Student voice emerges leading to empowerment.  Importantly, agentic children turn into agentic adults!

Session 1: Intersection of SEL & Trauma: Healing Relationships for Resilience

Why:  Children in every community are carrying trauma caused by the health and political events of the past 16 months and a successful academic recovery can only happen when the emotional and mental health needs of students and educators are taken care of.

Folks who have experienced trauma, violence, or chronic stress struggle to regulate their emotions. They are more likely to be stressed or upset due to emotional dis-regulation. Due to their brain chemistry, when someone who has experienced trauma becomes stressed or upset, they are unable to de-escalate at a typical rate, which then causes more problems (Van der Kolk, 2014). 

Add Van der Kolk’s assessment to the fact that schools have academic and behavioral expectations that can be very difficult, even impossible to meet for a child who has experienced trauma and you have the recipe for lack of success in students and burn out in educators.

Solution: In this session, we practice what it takes to create a safe and reliable environment where students who have experienced adversities and trauma feel supported, are welcome to explore their strengths and identities, exercise their agency, and can develop meaningful, positive relationships with adults and peers in their learning community. This is a non-negotiable for this school year.

Participants can expect to acquire the knowledge, skills and dispositions to:

  • Recognize trauma and respond skillfully
  • Become familiar with biology of stress (Response-Able)
  • Discover and utilize a student’s strengths to foster resilience
  • Create developmental relationships
  • Identify emotional triggers and make a plan (Respond rather than react)

Audience: All Grades PK-12 Educators
Presenter(s): Sharon McCarthy, TMI-ENVISION SEL Specialist/Lead Consultant, ENVISION President

Time: 3 hours



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