Trauma-informed teacher strategies to increase engagement, achievement and wellbeing: Reframing wellbeing through an integrated whole-school approach

Year: 2021

Author: Brunzell, Tom

Type of paper: Workshop

This workshop draws on the last five-years of research into trauma-informed wellbeing strategies for teachers. As we collectively forge educational practices and pedagogies for our new-normal, reframing wellbeing through trauma-informed practice provides schools with effective strategies to (1) increase teacher capacity towards student engagement, achievement and wellbeing, (2) assist teachers to understand the direct impacts of adverse childhood experiences on learning, and (3) bolster teacher wellbeing in the face of secondary and vicarious stressors (Brunzell, 2019; Brunzell, Waters, & Stokes, 2015; Brunzell, Stokes, & Waters, 2016). Research has shown that when teachers implement these strategies, student academic and wellbeing outcomes increase (Stokes & Brunzell, 2019). Alongside quantitative evidence, qualitative research exploring students’ own voices are telling us that they are effectively applying trauma-informed wellbeing strategies within and outside the classroom (Stokes & Brunzell, 2020); and students with their own histories of educational disruption are increasing engagement with learning (Stokes,Turnbull, Forster, & Farrelly, 2019). The strategies shared within this workshop have prioritised students on the margins of their school communities—however, findings suggest all students benefit when all staff members collaboratively work towards consistent implementation. This session will provide participants with these learning aims:Strategies to increase teacher capacity to support student wellbeing and engagement—with a focus on building stamina for on-task learningStrategies to assist teachers to increase their own wellbeing through both practice improvement alongside strategies for self-careStrategies for leadership teams to embed an integrated approach by unifying a narrative for whole-school improvement including trauma-informed practices, wellbeing education, restorative and respectful relationships—all to bolster a learning community.