Trauma Informed Relationships & SEL

Special Edition of the Bulldog Buzz!

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What does the research on trauma say?

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Taibi's Top 10 Take-A-Ways on Trauma...

  1. Be calm & in control!
  2. Be FIRM, CONSISTENT & CARING!
  3. Use blame free, positive language & levity to reduce shame triggers & help students stay present.
  4. Always use concrete language - show them more than tell them.
  5. Be positive & frequently point out strengths every chance you can (be specific) - TALK TO THEM!
  6. Maintain high expectations (our kiddos can't afford misplaced empathy).
  7. Tackle goals/assignments in small chunks instead of "dumbing things down."
  8. When disciplining a student come "along side" of them rather than confronting them. Confrontations will result in a power struggle & then EVERYONE will lose.
  9. Relationships & trust starts with...CURIOSITY! Your curiosity will help students to feel acceptance and you will have a much easier time helping him/her regroup and self-regulate. You are modeling how to care for others!
  10. Teaching is stressful! Know when to tap-out & get support. What are your triggers? What are your self-regulation strategies?

Curiosity is the Key!

My big "light bulb" moment was by far, #16...Curiosity! This is a practice that I have utilized successfully with students over the years but never really thought about it. Showing curiosity is the key to unlocking trust & to building relationships. Curiosity has also helped me to assist MANY students de-escalate from freeze/flight/fight mode. When you are able to get a student to focus on something different, something GENUINE, something different from the immediate moment, the situation will quickly shift.


That being said, curiosity doesn't work if you're not proactive! Be curious about a student's hobbies, interests, family...but do it when they are in a stable mindset! If you try to jump in there when he/she is in crisis mode, it just won't work. However, if you are able to be genuine and ask about a trip or a project or mom/dad/sister in a natural way you will experience greater success when situations become challenging.


What routines can you or have you established within your classroom to ensure some moments of one-on-one curiosity with your students? Thank you to everyone that has shared your "light bulb" moments from Melissa Sadin's text! Your insights are always so valuable & motivating! If you're still working through the text or haven't shared yet...please do so via social media or email!

The Principal's POV on SEL Stories

To paraphrase Carla Tantillo Philibert, SEL isn't about purchasing another program or adding an extra block to the day. It's not just for for students in counseling groups or only part of special education programming. Instead, SEL should be spread throughout the day. It should be part of our everyday language & must permeate everything we do as we work with students. This is the only way that we can ensure that ALL students are developing an understanding of self & social awareness. Therefore, we must look at SEL through the lens of tiered supports...and it all starts with our schoolwide routines!


The SEL Story is the center-piece for each Monday's Social-Emotional Learning lesson and is the backbone to ensuring purposeful talk about social/self awareness! In order to help facilitate this, I have written all our Stories for us and will include them during AM Announcements every Monday (along with some Bulldog Buddy Breathing). You will also receive our Stories each week with the Buzz. This way you can display them via your ELMO during class dialog and print them to include in your writing centers as a prompt!


See below for a sample script/reminders to assist you as you work with students to unpack each SEL Story...and as we prep for opening day, don't forget to take a moment to share your reflections and POP Chart pics via social media or email!

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The Principal's POP Chart

My POP Chart is ready to go, complete with our schoolwide language! To the Glassboro staff, stop by #BullockES for some inspiration or if you want to work on your POP Chart together! Remember, it's not about making "wallpaper"...it's about creating an INTERACTIVE tool to support our #EverydaySEL language & reflection!

The Chill Zone

Don't forget to tour #BullockES at some point today to check out some of these AMAZING Chill Zones!

Bullock's Universal/Tier 1 SEL Activities

Here's our #EverydaySEL starting point for the fall! Can you add to this based on your class's needs/interests? ABSOLUTELY! However, we want to start here as a schoolwide initiative to that EVERY staff member that assists our students will have strategies to practice!
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On...SEL Terms, Stories & Purposeful Talk

Each Monday we will be focusing on a different schoolwide SEL Story! Please designate a time do debrief with your students during the day. This can be right after announcements (ideally) or during a transition time that works with your schedule!


The centerpiece of the weekly SEL dialog will be our #EverydaySEL words (see pics below) and we should take the time to define what each term "looks like" for the kiddos as we engage them in purposeful talk. Some ways to get the ball rolling are outlined below, but I’m sure you can think of many more...and if you do, please share!


  • Post an SEL Word WallAsk students to pick a term that applies to the story and share why in pairs and then as a class (the class portion would allow you to steer the kiddos towards specific terms, for example).
  • Place the SEL terms on Popsicle stickshave a pair pick a stick and talk about it…then pick the best for your class dialog!
  • Post the terms in your Chill Zone: Hang or place our terms on a key ring and students can keep them in mind as they Pause, Own-it & Practice!


You might be asking yourself, what does this have to do with Danielson's FFT & our evaluations? Well, let's consider 3b: Questioning & Discussion Techniques. This is the perfect time to model expectations for how we interact with one another...and EVERY area of our curriculum will benefit from it! Check out the anchor charts below for some inspiration...and don't forget to share your own bite-sized best practices as you integrate this into your classroom routines!

What does this look like in our classrooms & throughout our schools?

Stay tuned for future editions of the #BulldogBuzz as we unpack Glassboro's 2018-19 Districtwide PLC texts: The Teachers' Guide to Trauma & Everyday SEL. You can also explore our authors' webpages by clicking through on the buttons below. And,,,as always, don't forget to share your reflections via social media or via email as you read throughout the summer!