Trauma Informed Educator Skills (TIES)
Community Care Programs launched its Trauma-Informed Educator Skills (TIES) program after classroom teachers and school mental health staff for our foster youth began asking for the same strategies already working in our foster homes. We responded to this need by adapting the tools that our foster parents and clinical case managers use to make them ‘student-friendly’.
In the past several years, the Department of Public Instruction (DPI) rolled out their Trauma Sensitive Schools initiative, selecting 8 Wisconsin school districts for district-wide implementation of trauma-informed education principles. Our efforts to help classroom teachers provide both prevention and just-in-time interventions for brains hijacked by trauma experiences has dove-tailed nicely with DPI’s system-wide efforts. We provide DPI with full-day trainings around the state which introduce and teach Tier 1, 2, & 3 skills that classroom teachers and school staff can use to prevent and de-escalate negative interactions.
TIES provides educators the latest research on how trauma affects the developing brain, working memory and interpersonal relationships. We offer prevention strategies to keep emotional brains well-regulated and calm. For unexpected escalations, we train educators in the same ‘just-in-time interventions’ that our foster parents successfully apply. These strategies can be used with youth in the classroom or counseling office. The goal of our prevention and intervention strategies is to reduce emotional reactivity and improve attention and learning.
TIES instructors also travel to school sites and work directly with classroom teachers, school counselors and administrative staff. On-site training is often the best way to get an entire school team together. TIES also provides follow-up coaching to school PBIS, RTI or IEP teams.
We offer the following workshops which are uniquely tailored to the end user:
- Educator Wellness Skills
- Follow-up Coaching for Educators
- Chronic Trauma – Impacts and Interventions
- Intervention and Coaching
Educator Wellness Skills
For educators who leave work tired, stressed and cranky, this workshop will teach/coach mindfulness strategies to manage adult distress and burn-out. By using these well researched mindfulness approaches and contemplative practices, educators will learn strategies to reduce stress and improve feelings of wellness. These strategies can be practiced throughout the work day for short periods of time to increase calm and a sense of ease. We will discuss how to create wellness intentions, arrange the environment to support wellness behaviors and how to ensure follow-through on practice. Best of all, we will practice all these strategies during the workshop so participants leave knowing how to do them in the classroom or at home.
Follow-Up Coaching for Educators
Follow-up coaching is designed to work with the busy schedules of classroom teachers and provides both conceptual learning and targeted coaching for specific classroom challenges. TIES instructors visit the school site to share information on trauma’s effects on the developing brain, prevention, and just-in-time interventions for the classroom. We then help school teams identify, and work on specific student challenges. We help staff apply trauma-informed strategies to real-life problems in order to create successful outcomes for everyone.
Chronic Trauma – Impacts and Interventions
Most of us know that trauma is bad for the brain and body, but how, exactly, does trauma interfere with student learning and behavior? This workshop translates current trauma research into useable information for educators in the classroom. You will learn how to differentiate between stress and trauma and also how trauma affects working memory, perception, learning and social relationships. Using the ‘trauma lens’, we will consider several examples of undesirable student behavior to understand how it may have been shaped by traumatic experiences. Once you understand the impacts of trauma on student learning and behavior, you will have a better idea how to improve it.
Traumatized youth often show negative or explosive reactions to frustration that are difficult to anticipate and manage in the classroom. If you’ve found yourself saying, “I didn’t see that coming” or “he just blew up… who knows why.” This workshop will help. Through lecture, video and small group discussion we teach strategies that focus on how to prevent, re-focus and de-escalate behaviors and emotions that are interfering with learning. Educators will leave ready to use these tools in your classroom.
Intervention and Coaching
This training is designed to complement the busy schedules of educators and provides conceptual learning and coaching on specific challenges. TIES instructors visit the school site to share information on trauma’s effects on the developing brain, just-in-time interventions for the classroom and educator wellness skills. School staff choose 3 dates over several months. Our trainers bring the material to educators during regularly scheduled teacher in-service time. Follow-up coaching is available between sessions from a TIES instructor. The coaching is designed to enhance application of the trauma principles and skills to the real world challenges of educators.