Stress, Trauma, and the Brain: Insights for Educators

Have you ever wondered why a student isn’t answering questions or reasoning with an adult after an incident, when a student is experiencing heightened emotions such as anxiety, fear, or anger, or after disruptive behavior?
Understanding the WHY behind this is more important than ever! Reminding ourselves of the WHY helps us, caring adults, respond in a trauma-informed manner to tough situations. Especially at the end of the school year, when many of our students may be worried about the transition to summer.
Dr. Bruce Perry, M.D. & Ph.D., explains WHY in this 6:36 minute video by PBS. His explanation of how the brain works and the “neurosequential model” is easy to understand and eye-opening. Understanding that a student’s brain/body must first be regulated, with the support of a caring adult, before reasoning can occur, is more than a trauma-informed approach. In reality, understanding how the brain works and this sequence of engagement has universal application for all students. Remember the 3 R’s – regulate and relate, before reasoning with a student or respond to behaviors!

TIC March 2023