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Teaching students with trauma

  • 1.  Teaching students with trauma

    Posted 10-26-2018 10:17
    One of my biggest concerns is finding strategies for students who suffer from trauma. I am seeing this more frequent and students acting out in class due to this. Does anyone have strategies to cope with this?

    Thanks in advance!

    Usha Cottrell
    Art Teacher

  • 2.  RE: Teaching students with trauma

    Posted 01-09-2019 11:12
    ​Hello, Usha,

    What a thoughtful and sensitive question to ask.  It speaks volumes of your passion and dedication to your students.

    The process of creating art can slow down body movement and emotions so students can focus on expressing their feelings and experiences.  Creating art can help students express their emotions and their versions of a traumatic event, but perhaps more powerful to know is that it can give them a sense of control over that event.

    One strategy to give them control is to have them draw their experience using whatever materials are available.  Afterwards, they can tear up the depiction, stomp on it, talk to it, cut it to pieces, or shred it.  Afterwards, give them choices: they can throw it away or use the pieces to create a collage of something positive that helped them through the experience or that they hope for.

    Another possibility is to have them draw their own solution to the problem.  What did or would make things better for you after this experience?

    Thank you for your question!

    Nancy Meyer
    Innovative Teaching and Learning Manager
    Stamford CT