Trauma, Relationships & the Brain: Creating Supportive Learning Environments
Friday, April 3rd, 12:30pm - 3:30pm
During this introductory session, participants will begin to explore how frequent and prolonged exposure to toxic stress affects the developing brain. Children who experience three or more adverse childhood experiences (ACEs) are three times more likely to fail, five times more likely to have severe attendance problems and six times more likely to have severe behavior problems. According to the Washington Family Policy Council, nearly fifty percent of our students nationally experience three or more ACEs. Attendees will participate in the Brain Architecture Game where they will experience how ACEs and other life events influence neurological development. Throughout the activity, participants will understand how the decisions they make, such as lesson planning, behavior management, and interactions with students, significantly impact the neurological development of their students. This will lay the foundation for a larger discussion on resilience and the role of educators in supporting all students. The session will conclude with planning time for participants to consider how to identify students and adults in a building who are dealing with toxic stress, build the capacity of caretakers in the school to be active allies, pinpoint conditions in your school community that are perpetuating or exacerbating toxic stress, and conduct an inventory of the impact of current and potential strategies.