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.
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
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