From “What’s Wrong with You?” to “What Happened to You?”


Research suggests that perhaps 25% of children experience or witness violence in their lives. Such exposure is associated with a wide range of psychological, emotional, behavioral, social and academic problems, even causing post-traumatic stress. Such problems present huge challenges to educators in schools and classrooms, particularly in high poverty, urban schools. Most educators have had no training on the topic of dealing with student trauma stemming from such exposure. Yet understanding the underlying causes of emotional and behavior disorders stemming from exposure to trauma, as well as its effects on learning, brain development and behavior, can help educators tailor the most successful interventions to student needs. Research has provided some proven strategies, approaches and models that school leaders can turn to for help in creating the kind of supportive environments to assist such struggling students. This workshop will include: a lecturette on the research on the effects of trauma on children; viewing a 7-minute video clip and reflecting on take-aways; n analysis of a mini-case study of a traumatized student: and an examination of an interactive survey instrument to assess a school's trauma preparedness in the areas of school-wide, classroom and family community involvement. At the end of the session participants will be able to: Define trauma; Explain how trauma may impact child/teen behavior and learning; Identify characteristics of trauma-informed practices in classroom/ school settings; Identify strategies and specific school-wide models and approaches for school leaders interested in leading trauma informed schools.


Trauma Trauma-informed School Leadership


Educational Organization and Leadership


Workshop Presentation


  • Deborah Lynch
    • Associate Professor, Graduate Programs in Education, Chicago State University, United States United States