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COPYRIGHTED MATERIAL have happened (Kagan 2004). Through the healing process, students can move on to face the future in spite of the experience. They are empowered to proceed with their development, become an active learner, and pursue their destiny (Brendtro, Mitchell, and McCall 2009). The key is to remember that it is difficult for words to reach the brain of an actively distressed student. Educators cannot “talk” children out of the irritating and frustrating behaviors that are a result of traumatic stress. Many educators are taught to say, “Use your words” when chil- dren are physically acting out a hurt or frustration. Trauma-informed teachers understand saying this may add to the disconnect and stress between teacher and student, who may not be functioning on a words- and-logic level. Trauma-informed educators realize that telling a student to calm down and make better choices also does not work, because a traumatized student may not be able to process logical choices (Levine and Kline 2007). Likewise, traditional discipline cannot be used to address and heal the cause of these behaviors. Children experience healing when they are able to externalize the memories that would otherwise eventually disempower them (Steele and Malchiodi 2012). Identifying and Labeling Feelings and Sensations Being able to identify and label feelings and sensations is a preventive tool as well as a vital step in the healing process. Many young children are bewildered by feelings, which are intangible and difficult to explain to a child. Some may have been told not to have some of them, like anger and jealousy. Feelings are abstract and uncertain issues for children. Fre- quently children try to ignore uncomfortable feelings rather than using the energy of their feelings to help them make sense of life and keep them safe (Kagan 2004; Perry and Szalavitz 2006). Children need safe places to practice naming and identifying their own feelings and those of others. Identifying the feelings in photographs showing facial expressions is a great way to practice; so is looking in a mirror and making faces showing sad, scared, excited, happy, and so on. The more comfortable children are in identifying and labeling feelings, the more able they will be to comfortably own them and be empowered by them. The goal is to encourage students to move beyond the customary glad, sad, and bad. The greater the comfort in naming feelings, the deeper will be the realization that they are natural and normal. Implementing the Trauma-Informed Classroom COPYRIGHTED MATERIAL 35