As we get ready for the return of school, it's important to remember the role that teachers play.
I have the wonderful opportunity of having many educators in my life. Several of my dearest friends are educators. Many of my colleagues work in the school setting. I knew at an early age that education would be important in my own life and pursued an education undergraduate degree. Although, I have never been a “teacher” in a classroom filled with kids, I have been an educator to many through the trainings that I do. My favorite topic to train educators on is “Strategies for Educating Traumatized Children.”
I have the opportunity to spend an entire day with educators tomorrow. I get to sit with them, learn from them, and hear from them about the challenges they face everyday in the classroom. I am always amazed at how teachers walk the line of focusing on academics and meeting children where they are developmentally. Spend a day in a classroom and you will soon see that this is no easy task to master with 25+ students who are all unique and different. We put a lot of pressure on teachers and yet, they are underpaid and overworked. Sure, there are teachers who are not as invested or burned out. You will find those types of people in any career.
The educators I know and work with all started out with a passion to help children. Perhaps, overtime, that passion has dwindled due to the monotony of standardized testing and the No Child Left Behind Act. However, I find that as I train and teach these amazing people, when they are given the opportunity, they dig deep and can still find the passion within. Everyday they are faced with the task of educating multiple children from all walks of life and backgrounds, hoping to teach them the same skills, knowing that each one is starting from a different starting line.
As I talk with them about children who have experienced trauma, they recognize that these children have a need for individual attention which is greater, but, often, resources are limited. I try to give these educators tools to use that can apply to all their students, tools they can build into a routine, so that they can meet the needs of the few who have suffered severe trauma. Often, teachers need a foundation of understanding why a kiddo is behaving a certain way. Then, with that understanding, comes the ability to respond appropriately.
I commend the people who choose teaching as their life’s purpose. I support them and am honored that I get to teach them about my passion…understanding traumatized children. As you walk through your own life and you run into an educator, say thank you. They are on the front lines and truly part of the village it takes to raise our children!