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What's the difference between being trauma-informed and trauma-supportive?

Updated: Mar 20, 2021

This one’s gonna be short and sweet, friends!

Even though it’s short, don’t underestimate the info, okay?

If you know my story, you know my first year of teaching I was placed in a “behavior room.”

Yeah, that’s what it was called.

It wasn’t too long into that first year I realized how intense the behaviors of my students were, and in turn, what their backgrounds likely had to do with it.

I watched my classroom get destroyed, was screamed and cussed at daily, and went home crying and defeated.

Please tell me you can relate?

Fast forward to late spring of that year, I attended a trauma informed PD.

Want to know what I got out of it?

I learned:

  • What trauma is from a social standpoint (not the science/physiology behind it)

  • That kids with trauma will exhibit unexpected behavior (duh)

  • They need a place to calm down (got it)

  • That educators should become more mindful of the above when working with this population (mhhmmm)

I implemented:


Yes, you read that right! I didn’t change a damn thing. The truth was, I was already looking at my students through a trauma informed lens.

I understood some of where the behaviors were coming from and that provided me with a little context.

Yet, it didn’t really change what I was doing in responding to the unexpected behavior, learning difficulties, and social emotional deficits.

It wasn’t until years later, after reading books, articles, taking classes, getting certifications in trauma, etc, that I had an epiphany!

It’s not enough to be a Trauma Informed Teacher!

The real transformation in my classroom(s) came when I became a Trauma Supportive Teacher. When I actually implemented a method that was actionable and supported both my students and myself.

I really dug deep into:

  • Principles of trauma

  • The physiology

  • Environmental triggers

  • Sensory supports

  • Academic programming

  • & more!

It was then that I felt more than a trauma informed teacher, I became a Trauma Supportive Teacher.

I implemented, tweaked, and found success in different strategies along the way, but I knew with everything I did, I was crafting an environment my students could feel safe in and take risks.

All the while, reducing my own stress and burnout in this difficult job. (yes, that is possible)

If you’re looking for more than an informed approach, and you’re ready to implement, tweak, and find success with me, join me in The Trauma Supportive Classroom Method. In the course, we tackle the 5 Pillars of creating an educational environment that engages your most resistant students!

I'm only open the doors for a limited time, so make sure you sign up to be the first to know here.

Grab the Trauma Checklist FREE here!

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