What a long, strange trip it’s been

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Unless you spent the last school year in outer space (a super-trendy travel destination these days), you went through A LOT to educate kids. And if you did spend the year in space, you know that re-entry is brutal.

Whether you’re going back to the classroom after virtual teaching, managing ongoing hybrid teaching environments, or returning to the same classroom you endured last year in, adjusting to “the new normal” will be tough. In addition to creating safe classroom routines, you’ll be dealing with the fallout of the many losses, struggles, and traumas that your students have endured during the pandemic.

This fall, the Student Behavior Blog is focusing on bringing you resources to help with recovery from all sorts of trauma, including racial trauma. You’ll see reflections and recommendations from working educators, summaries of professional learning events, evaluations of commercial intervention programs, tips, resources, and more.

Let’s start with a review of a past post from May 2019 that seems even more relevant now: When helping students hurts: Secondary Traumatic Stress (STS). It describes secondary traumatic stress (STS)—the compassion fatigue many professionals experience when they work with individuals who have suffered from trauma—and links to resources that are available to help.

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Cognitive Symptoms
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Emotional Symptoms
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Physical Symptoms
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Behavioral Symptoms
  • ✅ Confusion, difficulty making decisions
  • ✅ Rigidity, perfectionism
  • ✅ Apathy
  • ✅ Preoccupation with trauma
  • ✅ Sadness, depression
  • ✅ Guilt
  • ✅ Anger, irritability, resentment
  • ✅ Numbness
  • ✅ Emotional exhaustion, hopelessness, helplessness
  • ✅ Anxiety
  • ✅ Rapid heart rate, difficulty breathing
  • ✅ Sleep disturbances
  • ✅ Teeth grinding
  • ✅ Muscle and joint pain
  • ✅ Frequent illnesses and ailments (headaches, stomachaches, colds, rashes)
  • ✅ Withdrawal, avoidance
  • ✅ Elevated startle response, hyper vigilance
  • ✅ Appetite changes
  • ✅ Excessive use of media/watching TV or videos
  • ✅ Increased use of alcohol and/or drugs

Take a few moments to review this post with the hard-earned perspective of the past year. And watch this space for more resources for supporting educators and students recovering from trauma.

Topics: Internalizing behaviors Mental Health Trauma

Tags: Compassion fatigue Secondary trauma Vicarious trauma