Every day across the country, students enter classrooms bearing concerns that go far beyond academics. Creating Compassionate Schools provides teachers with an understanding of how students can overcome adverse childhood experiences (ACEs) by adopting compassionate methodologies in the classroom and learning community. Research and scientific rationale support the need for compassionate schooling to support children with ACEs, including students who are in a continual state of physical and emotional stress or have experienced a singular traumatic event.
This course includes tools, strategies, and resources to create a compassionate classroom and to collaborate with colleagues to create a school-wide culture of care. These principles and practices that create learning conditions that alleviate the interference of traumatic experiences that are beyond the teacher’s and student’s control.
Throughout this course, learners will look carefully at social emotional learning standards in the K-12 setting, which define competencies students need for success in all aspects of life. The competencies must be taught with a compassionate approach to reach victims of stress and trauma. Traditional methods of discipline have failed to support the social and emotional needs of students overcoming ACEs. This course provides teachers with the methods that ensure these students’ needs are met through a unique, compassionate effort that does not rely upon punitive measures.
Integrating a plan to create a compassionate school community requires input from multiples parties. Teachers, administrators, counselors, and other school personnel will all benefit from incorporating these practices into their daily routine. This course will allow educators to implement compassionate school methods into a district by replacing traditional, punitive methods of discipline with positive behavior intervention supports, incorporating SEL in the curriculum, partnering with community members to mitigate the effects of poverty, and addressing all barriers for students with complex needs.
Throughout the 2016-2017 school year, 104, 088 students were reported homeless in New York City alone. While this is just one example of a traumatic event students may face throughout their school year, this is a substantial number of students for whom traditional discipline and management routines will fail. These students, along with others, require a school culture that is built upon compassion, while identifying and supporting their needs in order to build them a bridge to success.