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Traumatized Kids, Frustrated Teachers

The past few years have been hard on kids, parents, and caregivers. The trauma experienced by children has, in many cases, translated into behavioral issues in the classroom, leaving teachers frustrated. These behaviors include children not paying attention, failing to turn in homework, being belligerent with school personnel, getting into fights, and more. Kids may physically be in school, but they are not always in the right mindset to learn.

How can we help teachers help their kids? Teachers need support inside and outside the classroom. Here are some tips:

Tips for Teachers

  1. Children have been forced to deal with new challenges over the past two years. Setting clear expectations (and consequences) and daily structure will help them build a routine. Be consistent.

  2. Give kids time during the school day to build relationships – with you and with each other. Listen to what the children are saying – and not saying.

  3. Change things up to keep learning interesting. One elementary school teacher divided her classroom into two teams that competed in multiplication baseball. The “pitcher” tossed out a multiplication problem to the “batter.” If the batter got the right answer, they moved to first base; if not, they struck out.

  4. Kids need physical and mental “breaks” during the day. It can be especially important for elementary aged kids to get up and move. Build these breaks into your schedule.

  5. Watch for kids that need more help than you are able to provide. Make that referral to the counselor to get them the help they need.

Tips for Parents

  1. Set and follow routines at home. Kids need structure and to understand what you expect of them.

  2. Make sure your children eat healthy meals and get enough sleep. It’s hard to learn when you are exhausted.

  3. Regularly ask your child about their day using open-ended questions. Listen to learn what engages them and where they might be struggling.

  4. Keep in touch with the teacher; ask how you can help your child succeed. Many teachers are also happy to have parents volunteer in the classroom.

  5. Watch for behavioral changes that might indicate your child needs professional help.

Teaching is a calling. The most successful teachers truly love their careers. Let’s all work together to get past the frustration and back on track to learn.


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