Recognizing—and providing help—when students are suffering is beneficial to both the student and the school. A trauma-informed school is one in which teachers and other staff members recognize when a student is stressed due to some type of trauma. Trauma-informed schools have been shown to help:
- Improve behaviour
- Reduce the number of suspensions and expulsions
- Improve academic achievement
Read on to learn how using wellness giveaways as you take steps to become a trauma-informed school can benefit every student.
Help students recognize their emotions
Teach students to become aware of negative emotions and give them the tools to deal with those feelings. Students need to pause and process negative thoughts before they become destructive behaviours. This helps build coping skills, which may make disciplinary measures less necessary. Help kids handle negative feelings by teaching them mindfulness and breathing techniques with the help of wellness giveaways. A container of squishy foam putty can help students calm themselves.
Create a calming space
Set up a safe space where students can go to calm themselves and get their emotions under control. For elementary schools, a corner of the room with a stuffed animal pillow to squeeze or a fidget cube to play with can help them settle their emotions. Setting a timer can remind kids to return to class when they are ready. Older students who need a break may need to sit quietly in a separate room. Offer them an adult colouring book or encourage them to write about their feelings in a journal. Reflection can help them deal with tough emotional issues.
One of the most powerful tools for school wellness is the simple act of making connections—both student-to-student and student-to-faculty. Building a student-teacher relationship through resiliency touch points—intentional encounters designed to create a connection with the student—help students feel safe at school.
For older students, short conversations about a student’s life or casual compliments on a new hairstyle or outfit can help forge a connection. For younger students, take a few minutes to teach them a calming strategy or play a game of cards.
Better care for everyone
Creating a trauma-informed environment improves school wellness for everyone. Foster connections and help students feel safe with mindfulness, breathing and wellness giveaways to create an environment where every student succeeds.