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Overcoming the School Trauma Cycle
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Overcoming the School Trauma Cycle
Academic and Emotional Supports for Struggling Learners

Foreword by Jerome J. Schultz



March 2024 | 200 pages | Corwin

Disrupt the painful cycle of academic challenges and emotional distress

When students struggle with learning, it can be stressful for both them and their teachers. Struggling learners are more likely to experience low self-esteem, anxiety, depression, and behavioral issues—challenges that, combined with highly stressful learning experiences, can tip students into a trauma response that makes learning even harder.

Overcoming the School Trauma Cycle explores the science behind how learning occurs in the brain, how it can be disrupted, and—most importantly—how to overcome the painful cycle of academic challenges and emotional distress. Inside, you'll find:

  • What the latest research tells us about how mental health issues can disrupt the learning process
  • How academic and mental health challenges can fuel each other
  • Manageable, whole-class practices and targeted supports to meet struggling learners’ academic and emotional needs
  • Opportunities to self-assess and reflect

Many schools have increased their focus on trauma-informed teaching and social-emotional learning, but these approaches are too often pitted against academic rigor when they are really two sides of the same coin. To improve outcomes for all students, we must address their social-emotional needs alongside their academic ones. In Overcoming the School Trauma Cycle, you'll discover empowering practices to help all students learn and thrive.


 
Dedication
 
Foreword
 
Acknowledgments
 
About the Author
 
Preface
 
Part I. The Why
 
Chapter 1. The Neuroscience of Learning
 
Chapter 2. Disabilities and other Learning Challenges
 
Chapter 3. Emotions, Mental Health, and Learning
 
Chapter 4. The Vicious Cycle of Academic and Mental Health Challenges
 
Part II. The How
 
Chapter 5. Creating an Inclusive Classroom Culture
 
Chapter 6. Instructional Practices to Support Struggling Students
 
Chapter 7. Accommodations to Support Students with Mental Health Challenges
 
Chapter 8. Supporting Students’ Social-Emotional Wellbeing
 
Resource: Supporting Students in Crisis
 
References

"As a school counselor and former SPED teacher I often see the negative impact school has on students. This book is important because it helps general education teachers see their role in the student’s life and how they can prevent school trauma from happening. I love that it gives teachers an understanding of why the brain acts the way it does and how we can help train both educator brains and student brains to respond differently. Overcoming the School Trauma Cycle is a great book to have when you are in school becoming a teacher, new to teaching, or if you have been out of school for a long time. This is a resource for anyone who needs the basics on the neuroscience of learning and trauma, any teacher who feels like they don’t really 'get' how to accommodate for mental health concerns, or even a school counselor who wants to have a great resource to give out to teachers." 

Rebecca Cohen
School Counselor, Portland Public Schools, OR

"This book should be required reading for every education major prior to student teaching as well as those already in the classroom and looking to  expand their knowledge."

Patricia Dawson
Retired Principal, Ashland County, OH

"Educators know that trauma impacts students’ well-being and academic performance, but they may not be sure what they can do to support students who have experienced trauma. This book provides answers: answers that are actionable, evidence-based, and practical. It takes us on a journey through the brain and into the classrooms, with clear recommendations for practice that can be implemented immediately."

Douglas Fisher, PhD
Professor and Chair, Department of Educational Leadership, San Diego State University

"This book offers something for every reader, explaining the importance of connecting the dots between the science of teaching and learning, educational neuroscience, and critical contexts that enhance or create barriers to learning." 

Sheldon Horowitz, EdD
Learning Disabilities Consultant

"One of the most significant realizations for me as an educator has been the importance of bringing together both the foundation for effective instructional practices (the why) and the means by which to build on that foundation (the how). It is not effective to attend to one while leaving the other unexplored. There is an art and skill to this work. It is nuanced and possible to do well with a roadmap. In Overcoming the School Trauma Cycle, Kaufman provides readers with such a roadmap, walking alongside us, providing those who guide children—pre-service and in-service educators, parents, and caregivers—with the foundational knowledge and practical tools needed to create and sustain authentic, inclusive, inviting, and holistic learning spaces and experiences that truly support and engage all learners." 

Afrika Afeni Mills
Author of "Open Windows, Open Minds: Developing Antiracist, Pro-Human Students," Founder and CEO of Continental Drift LLC

"In a world where education is meant to be a beacon of enlightenment and personal growth, When School is the Trauma courageously confronts a deeply concerning reality: the potential for academic environments to inadvertently perpetuate trauma. This book is not merely a publication; it's a revolutionary wake up call to action, urging readers to reevaluate and reshape educational practice for the well-being of every child. We have an urgent need for this change in our educational systems."

Renee Nealon
5th Grade Teacher, Petaluma City Schools, CA

"Trynia Kaufman eloquently shares critical information about mental health issues from a brain science perspective that every educator should know. She offers practical strategies that can be implemented right away to create inclusive learning environments for all students, with a sensitive and informed perspective on how to support the emotional well-being of each individual." 

Allison Posey
Author, Consultant, Learning Design and Research Specialist, CAST

"Overcoming the School Trauma Cycle is extremely relevant to practitioners. Trynia Kaufman provides an easy readability and made me feel I was having a conversation with her. The book provided a solid overview of the most readily available techniques to use in the classroom right now. The background information was written with clarity for anyone to read, although parents without background knowledge would also be able to read and understand this book."

Betty Rivinus
SpEd Teacher on Special Assignment, Canby School District, Portland, OR

"Taking into account the emotional and behavioral barriers to student learning is an essential part of teaching to the whole student. There is a dearth of resources for mid-career educators, and Overcoming the School Trauma Cycle serves to meet that need. It builds upon current knowledge, giving educators helpful reminders and new ideas for accommodations and supporting the education of students with high-incidence learning challenges. It seems to speak to social and emotional well-being and the impact of mental health on student learning, which is something that we can sometimes forget in our day-to-day work with students."

Michael Cady Russell
School Counselor and Licensed Professional Counselor, Portland Public Schools and Russell Counseling, LLC

"All teachers, not just early career, will benefit from this book. It is foundational to any other SEL and mental health work."

Catherine Sosnowski
Adjunct Professor, Central Connecticut State University, New Britain, CT

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Paperback
ISBN: 9781071904954
$31.95