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Why Trauma Informed Practices Matter

Teachers and school leaders may wonder why Teach Lake County’s coursework has such a strong emphasis on trauma-informed teaching practices. 

The short answer is: 

Students learn when they are in a regulated state. Students do not learn when they are in a dysregulated state. Teachers must know how to help students regulate so they are able to learn. 

The longer answer is: 

When the human brain is dysregulated because of trauma or an emotional trigger, the brain shifts into survival mode. Dr. Dan Siegel calls this, “flipping your lid.” When the brain is in survival mode, the parts of the brain responsible for learning, memory, and critical thinking go “offline.” When the brain and body calm down, those parts of the brain are accessible and learning can occur.

There are specific steps and strategies that can help the brain move from a dysregulated state to a regulated state. Dr. Bruce Perry calls these strategies the “Three R’s: Regulate, Relate, Reason.” Teach Lake County coursework is embedded with opportunities to learn, practice, and reflect upon these strategies until they become innate.

Teach Lake County infuses trauma informed practices into every course because we believe that the current research on how the brain learns is undeniably critical to teaching and learning. Teachers fluent in trauma informed practices are able to notice when a child is dysregulated and use their tools to help the child regulate and return to learning. Teachers without this knowledge and skill will struggle with dysregulated behaviors and poor academic progress.  

Watch the Sequential Engagement video with Dr. Bruce Perry

Watch the Hand Model of the Brain video with Dr. Dan Siegel