Trauma-Sensitive Practice for New Teacher Standards: Addressing the Epidemic of Our Times
In response to provincial and national calls for whole school approaches, and in the hope to support new teacher competencies aimed at promoting mental health, this paper considers the changing dynamics within the current classroom through elements and implications of a participatory study conducted in an Alberta urban elementary school. Specifics from this research with young “girls,” who engaged in ritual, ceremony, arts-integrated, contemplative, and somatic practices, target the on-going conversation on mental health and best practices in schools. Images of and from their life-size body maps are imbedded into the discussion, promoting the inclusion of body-centred, emotional, and imaginal dynamics to be integrated throughout teaching and learning. The discussion calls for the conscious shift of teachers, counselors, and leaders into more integral and ecological paradigms that understand health through the multifold relations with others and the environment. This argument is supported by trauma literature that calls for affective embodied experience, greater inclusion of right hemispheric activities, relational ethics, and teacher professional learning.
Keywords: trauma; mental health; whole school approaches; ritual; ceremony; contemplative, somatic, and arts-based methods; paradigm
- Authors retain copyright and grant the journal right of first publication with the work simultaneously licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution License that allows others to share the work with an acknowledgement of the work's authorship and initial publication in this journal.
- Authors are able to enter into separate, additional contractual arrangements for the non-exclusive distribution of the journal's published version of the work (e.g., post it to an institutional repository or publish it in a book), with an acknowledgement of its initial publication in this journal.
- Authors are permitted and encouraged to post their work online (e.g., in institutional repositories or on their website) prior to and during the submission process, as it can lead to productive exchanges, as well as earlier and greater citation of published work (See The Effect of Open Access).