Great Site for Math Video lessons (not Kahn Academy)
Supporting Students After Trauma and Loss
In this article in ASCA School Counselor, Robin Gurwitch and David Schonfeld of the National Center for School Crisis and Bereavement at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center note that by high-school graduation, 90 percent of American students have experienced the death of a family member, relative, or loved one and 40 percent have experienced the death of someone their own age. Many have also dealt with divorce, domestic violence, child maltreatment, parental substance abuse, and accidents. “These experiences will affect their thoughts, feelings, behaviors, and physical well-being,” say Gurwitch and Schonfeld, including how they perform academically and relate to peers and adults. Here are some reactions:
- Difficulty concentrating, paying attention, making decisions, and learning new information;
- Intrusive thoughts and memories;
- Concerns about their own safety and security and that of others;
- Worries about an additional loss or the recurrence of the event;
- Self-blame, thinking they were responsible for what happened;
- Preoccupation with death, including suicidal ideation;
- Fear, anxiety, sadness, anger, helplessness, irritability, loss of interest in things they used to enjoy, isolation, feeling different from others, guilt, mood swings;
- Difficulty sleeping, nightmares;
- Increased activity level;
- Changes in appetite;
- Easily startled;
- Agitation, being on high alert;
- Headaches and stomachaches;
- Difficulty getting along with family members, friends, and classmates;
- Aggression or disruptive behaviors;
- Avoiding people, places, or situations that are reminders of the trauma or loss;
- Difficulty separating from family, including refusal to attend school;
- Acting younger than their age;
- Repeatedly asking questions about trauma or loss or telling stories of the event;
- Reliving the events through play (younger children);
- Engaging in high-risk behaviors (adolescents).
These students need the school’s support, but they won’t necessarily reach out to counselors or other adults. Gurwitch and Schonfeld have the following suggestions:
• Initiate the conversation. “Students may not want to feel different or may sense that the adults are not comfortable discussing the event,” say the authors. “Let the student know you are aware of the recent experience and are thinking of him or her. Let the student know you are available to talk and to listen. Remember, listen more than you talk.”
• Validate feelings and experiences. The student needs to know that you’re really taking in what’s being said. Reflective listening is important.
• Answer questions and reassure. Students may have misinformation and misattributions, which lead to guilt or shame. Questions need to be answered simply and directly, and mistaken impressions corrected.
• Educate students and caregivers about common reactions. There are a number of predictable reactions to trauma and loss, among them difficulties with schoolwork. Students and their families need to know about these, and teachers may want to modify assignments and provide extra help with homework.
• Help students identify positive coping strategies. It might be helpful to remind the student about what worked with earlier difficulties, or new strategies might be needed, including skills for anxiety management, relaxation exercises, maintaining regular routines, and stopping intrusive thoughts.
• Identify triggers. These might be the sound of a siren, a word or phrase, a song, a holiday or birthday, or part of a story. It’s helpful for the student to be aware of possible triggers and have an understanding with teachers about being able to leave the class and go to a safe location if he or she feels overwhelmed.
• Encourage return to positive extracurricular activities. This can help students get back to a semblance of normalcy, reconnect them with supportive friends and adults, and give them “permission” to feel normal again.
• Encourage activities that promote healing. Helping others who have experienced trauma or loss can facilitate a student’s own healing process.
• Counselors, teachers, administrators, and parents should keep in touch with each other. This can help establish how well the student is coping and what additional support might be needed.
• Be available for the immediate-, short-, and long-term. “It only takes a moment to ask, ‘Tell me how things are going,’” say Gurwitch and Schonfeld. “This lets students know you care and you remember about their trauma or loss.”
“Support Traumatized Students” by Robin Gurwitch and David Schonfeld in ASCA School Counselor, September/October 2011 (Vol. 49, #1, p. 10-13), http://www.schoolcounselor.org;
from the Marshall Memo, #404.
Sir Ken Robinson: Bring on the Learning Revolution
Joint Town Hall with Pizza!
Thursday, October 13th with BASH and Arena.
Check out what Bronx Academy and other students from around the world are thinking, feeling, and saying through words, video, audio and art.
Content/Skill Mastery Charts
Charts should be going up in the classroom starting our 2nd marking period (October 21st-December 2nd).
Content and skills should be drawn directly from teacher subject area curriculum maps and be manifest on the lesson plan level.
Ms. Maguire, Mr. Joseph and Mr. Link will be conducting PD on the use of the Appperson Advantage scanners which should be used to create and grade finals at the end of Term 2. Students will receive individual learning mastery profiles to plan next steps and use for targeted tutoring.
With regard to data, we will be learning and growing as a staff where we can reflect upon and discuss:
BASH was approved for DYO (Do Your Own) periodic assessments. As part of this work, we will be conducting:
Comprehensive English & Integrated Algebra (3 assessments each):
Our work with data and content/skills mastery charts in all subject area classes will tie in directly with our DYO and Regents Item Analysis efforts this year and our curriculum mapping from last year. Go BASH.
Bulletin Board Work
Please use the binder located on the counter in the main office.