School staff try to cut trauma by building relationships
ALGONA—Teachers in the Algona Community School District are learning more about trauma sensitivity involving the students in their classrooms.
Trauma informed or trauma sensitivity means teachers and the staff are aware that children are going to school with some sort of trauma experience. “We have to be sensitive or aware of that,” said Kristi Roberts, elementary school counselor. “The learning part is learning how to listen to the kids before reacting.”
“Listening and helping build relationships is important,” said Brad Sudol, elementary principal for Bertha Godfrey and Bryant elementary schools. “Before when kids were acting out, they were getting in trouble for not following the rules. It is a call for help.”
Over the past two years, teachers in the school district have participated in conferences discussing trauma and the issues involved with it. Over that time, guest speakers provided information to teachers. Teachers were provided background and learned about restorative practices that focused on building relationships. There were also restorative circles, during which all involved created a circle and talked about the situation.
For more on this effort, see the July 16 Kossuth County Advance.