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COPYRIGHTED MATERIAL Instructions: Ask the children to raise their hands with you and touch their fingertips on each other’s hands as you repeat the verse. End by holding the hands of the children in yours as you gaze into their eyes. Managing the Trauma-Informed Environment There are several things teachers can do to implement a trauma- informed environment. In addition to educating themselves on behav- iors and concerns of traumatized children, they can create a safe, supportive environment for all children, which includes sensitivity to highly vigilant children who may need more space and attention to their needs. Trauma-informed teachers should be aware that they are not expected to “cure” children or diagnose children independently—if there is any concern that a child has experienced trauma, caregivers, counselors, and other support staff should immediately be involved. Then the trauma-informed teacher can support the student along with the rest of the class through trauma-informed practices such as the ones below. See the section on counselors’ roles in chapter 4 for more on involving support staff. Strengthening Self-Regulation Self-regulation is now considered a stronger predictor of achievement than IQ, according to Duckworth and Seligman (2005). Neuroscience offers an explanation for why young children with insecure attachments or deep losses of security often have a lack of self-regulation or self-control: they haven’t strengthened the neural pathways required to master these skills (Cozolino 2006). A five-year-old boy who had continuous problems being a playmate picked up a handful of playground mulch and threw it at a classmate. The targeted classmate did not rebuke the boy and instead said, “Why don’t we shake hands and become friends?” The troubled boy, totally surprised by the unexpected congeniality, gin- gerly offered his hand. They became playmates, much to the teacher’s surprise. A student with strong self-regulation skills can also inspire a young- ster with poor social patterns to grow and strengthen his self-regulation 32 Chapter Three COPYRIGHTED MATERIAL