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Trauma-Informed Crisis Education Resources

January 2021
Teaching Techniques
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Following the widely televised insurrection at the US Capitol last week, teachers and tutors all across the country are wondering how to approach the topic with their learners. It can be challenging to address events such as these, particularly with so many unanswered questions and uncertainties still remaining. But whether you teach young children or adults, it’s important that teachers and tutors provide a space for learners to question and process major events.

School social worked and licensed therapist Lucy Rosario advises “the trick is to acknowledge, give space, but contain.” Ignoring frightening news and events doesn’t make the fear go away; teachers need to address the feelings and fears in a calm and direct manner. At the same time, spending an entire class looking at related images or letting learners talk without any direction or support can spiral into unhealthy rumination. This is an opportunity for teachers and tutors to model resilience and healthy coping strategies.

Students report that “just about anything” is helpful, “regardless of whether the instructor’s response required relatively little effort, such as asking for one minute of silence…, or a great deal of effort and preparation, such as incorporating the event into the lesson plan or topics for the course”

For teachers and tutors who are looking for resources to talk about last week’s insurrection or recommendations for trauma-informed approaches to teaching and learning in class, this google sheet is an excellent place to begin. The first page of the sheet has links to resources directly related to the riots at the US Capitol and how to broach the topic with learners during class. The second page contains links to help teachers and tutors develop a trauma-informed approach to class discussions, and offers resources for managing emotional responses to traumatic events.

Here’s the full link to Trauma-Informed Crisis Education- Teaching Adults and Refugees

A huge thanks to Eliana Stanislawski for kicking off this resource collection and creating the online repository!

If you have additional resources on this topic that you think would be useful to include, please email Andrea at

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The general conclusion from the students' perspective appears to be do something just about anything

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