1st Edition

Trauma-informed Teaching in Your Elementary Classroom Simple Strategies to Create Inclusive, Safe Spaces as the First Step to Learning

By Lori Brown, Alison Bartlett Copyright 2024
    136 Pages 25 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    136 Pages 25 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    Research has proven that childhood trauma effects school engagement and success, while at the same time recognizing that the majority of students have experienced it. This book offers simple strategies, based on evidence-based studies, that elementary educators can use to effectively recognize trauma, teach resilience, and support their students in being ready to learn. The book covers all the tenets of trauma-informed teaching including understanding the effects of trauma, creating safety and predictability, fostering healthy attachments, and modeling resilience as part of social-emotional learning, all of which are framed within cultural humility and competence. Designed for all teachers, professionals, and school administrators working with elementary students, this practical guide is key reading for creating a safe classroom and school environment that is inclusive of all learners and conducive for learning.

    Meet the Authors




    Part 1- The Why

    Chapter 1 – Understanding Trauma

                The Human Nervous System

                            Sympathetic and Parasympathetic Systems

                Memories: Regular and Traumatic

                Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)

                Fight, Flight, Freeze, and Fawn (FFFFs)




                Chronic Stress and Changes to the Brain


                            Brain Connections

                            Exposure to Stress Hormones


                Answers to Brain Breaks


    Chapter 2 – Intergenerational Trauma

                Back to ACEs





                            Maternal Nutrition


                            Attachment Theory

                            Historic Trauma

                Answers to Brain Breaks



    Part 2 – The How

    Chapter 3 – Culture


                            Unconscious Bias

                            Resource Bias

                            Deficit Thinking



                Cultural Humility and Cultural Competence

                Case Study: Forest Glen School (K-4) Moncton, New Brunswick, Canada

                Culturally Responsive Teaching


      Answers to Brain Breaks


    Chapter 4 – Safety and Predictability


                Mirror Neurons

                Identifying and Removing Triggers

                Answers to Brain Breaks


    Chapter 5 – Cognitive-Behavioral Theory

                What is Cognitive Behavior Theory?

                How Does CBT Work?

                CBT: Body➨Brain

                            Social Emotional Learning (SEL) Resources for You and Your Students


                            Reflective Listening

                            Reflective Feeling

                 CBT: Brain➨Body

                            Recognizing and Challenging Thoughts

                            Social Emotional Learning (SEL) For Your K-3 Students

                            Social Emotional Learning (SEL) For Your Grade 4-6 Students

                 CBT for Teachers

                 Brain Break Answers





    Lori Brown has twenty-eight years working as a teacher, registrar, counselor, administrator, and consultant in the public school system.


    Alison Bartlett worked in the Anglophone East School District since 1989 as a classroom teacher and was the SPR for her school’s Positive Learning Environment.

    Lori Brown and Alison Bartlett have created a useable text that provides practical trauma-informed strategies that support both students and teachers in the creation of a trauma-informed school.  The authors have insightfully included a whole chapter not just on cultural competencies but also on cultural humility.  In an ever changing world, we must all be aware of our own cultural biases.  This is a must read for all teachers. 

    -Coreen Collins, Manager Student Support, Department of Education, Government of Nunavut 


    As our youngest students experience trauma around them, we as the adults who care for them and educate them, must be better prepared to understand the natural responses of children to the trauma in their lives.  Lori Brown, Psy.D is an authority on this topic and has written a very readable, research informed, guide to the steps a school community can take to ensure that the entire school community is prepared to support and work with all students.

    -Rebecca Wardlow, EdD- Dean, College of Education, United States University


    This book addresses important issues in education today, such as how trauma happens to individuals and cultures, as well as how to address it in your classrooms. Written for teachers by teachers, it is a thoroughly researched and user-friendly resource for education in 21st century. Well done!

    -Armand Doucet C.M.