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  • Writer's pictureGary Darma

Tom Brunzell: Trauma and teaching the whole child!

On Tuesday afternoon we had the privilege of having Tom Brunzell from the Berry Street Childhood Institute come and  address our staff. He presented the results of years of research and deliberate practice refinement which has resulted in the Berry Street Education Model.

It is no secret that in today’s changing and complex world, many students encounter daily adversity including chronic and traumatic stressors, lack of environmental supports, and other barriers to their own school success. Despite best efforts and intentions, schools require community responses to address student needs for healing, growth, and achievement.

Here is the visual of the model:

He talked about students that have experienced trauma or negative life experiences can have physiological side effects that can effect their ability to cope in classroom situations. He discussed how they always start with educating children about their own bodies and in particular the bodies response to stress. It is important for students that they understand the physical response their bodies had to deal with when encountering stress. This knowledge separates the individual from the response so in a way they learn that those negative bodily functions are not fundamentally apart of them but more a response that, with training and practice can be negated.

This talk from Nadine Burke has very similar themes to the message that was clear in Tom’s presentation. We will also get any relevant slides and other materials up on the this post shortly

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