Let's be honest, many of us as educators have found ourselves thinking or feeling this very thing - I'm not your momma! As it is, we are already overloaded with responsibilities in our classrooms and taking on the role of a parent can make us feel overwhelmed and even frustrated at times. But our students need us to "show up" in many capacities and THRIVING TEACHERS understand and recognize the effects of trauma. What does childhood trauma look like? Do you know it when you see it?
Childhood trauma and neglect does include visible bruises and injuries and often much more than meets the naked eye. Childhood trauma looks like a hole in a child’s heart that has been neglected or missing a parent due to divorce, incarceration, mental disease or rehabilitation.
Sometimes the adverse childhood experience looks boisterous in its acting out in a classroom or school hallway and at other times it looks like a child trying to disappear with a smaller footprint to avoid detection by a drunken parent, relative or friend.
Trauma on a child’s face may be seen in a startled look, followed by fear. Sometimes the look is vacant, frozen in the inability to respond to life.
Childhood abuse appears as male or female, young or old, anywhere on the social economic status (SES) scale. Unfortunately, research indicates the lower the SES, the more prevalent the trauma appears.
And the descriptions go on:
· An emaciated, hollow, shadow of what could have been.
· A missing face in a high school year book
· A recipient of toxic stress from three generations back without direct harm
· A depressed mother raising a child under the age of three
· A teen pregnancy
· An addicted adolescent
· A lifeless body, the soul sucked out of a child before his or her time.
Or, even you and me! We are human too and none of us has experienced a “perfect life”.
These graphic and real images of childhood trauma cannot be photo-shopped out of our minds by saying, “I’m not your momma.” No, you aren’t their momma, but you might be the closest they get to having a nurturing person on their side.
Join me and TLC in not only becoming aware of what trauma and neglect look like to an educator, and walk with us as we equip you to transform the learning of your students in ways that “Momma” didn’t or maybe couldn’t touch.
Those are my thoughts. What are yours? Feel free to contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org and follow us on FB @thrivingleaderscollaborative and Twiiter @thrivinglc