To view this page ensure that Adobe Flash Player version 11.1.0 or greater is installed.

DOUBLE TAP TO ZOOM WITH PHONE OR TABLET a great paradigm shift in education for distressed students as well as their classmates and teachers. As described in chapters 1 and 2, educators can gain insight into behavioral problems by understanding the neural sci- ence behind many issues of concern to teachers. These insights afford teachers a greater capacity for attunement and empathy. Students who are propelled into the spotlight by their disturbing behaviors tend to be the most fragile children in their schools. For behavioral interventions to be effective, educators must acknowledge that the root causes of problematic behaviors can stem from insecure attachments or traumatic experiences. This chapter will discuss some ways educators can become more sensi- tive to children’s traumatic experiences in understanding and addressing behavioral issues. An Example of Trauma-Informed Teaching I recently participated in an educational research project at an elementary school titled “Growing the Brain.” This trauma-informed brief project was based on the notion that an emotionally secure environment with positive relationships between students and teachers can rewire and reorganize the brains of stressed children. Our hope was that we could reduce the emotional, cognitive, and behavioral difficulties of the stressed students. Our intentions were to keep students within their positive range of self- regulation throughout the school day. The goal of this project was to enhance the academic achievement of all students in the participating classrooms. The staff involved were teachers from one kindergarten, one first-grade, and one second-grade classroom, plus behavioral coaches and Title I teachers. They were asked to integrate a sensory healing activity from the first edition of Making It Better and other resources into core curriculum assignments once a week. They were each provided with a copy of the book and received twenty hours of training. An activity that became a focus of the K–2 classrooms was the com- pelling eye and hand rituals from Becky Bailey’s book I Love You Rituals. Maintaining deep eye contact while gently touching the hands of a child can stimulate growth and strengthening of the prefrontal cortex, especially of children that did not have the opportunity to form a solid attachment in 30 Chapter Three COPYRIGHTED MATERIAL