Provide Safety to Create a Space for Building Courage
Building trusting relationships with students is the foundation of all learning. Facilitating the development of trust among students in a class is the key to creating a positive, supportive environment. Without these relationships, traumatized students will not learn and no one in the classroom will operate at their optimal level. However, building trust requires a trustworthy educator. Honest self-evaluation demands courage because it makes a person feel vulnerable to admit there are any areas where they may need to improve. The avoidance of vulnerability comes from a place of fear and is common in human nature.
However, genuinely knowing oneself, even the parts one may not like or believe others will not like, is the first step towards understanding and connecting with traumatized students. Preparation programs can offer safe spaces for candidates to practice self-reflection and self-evaluation and benefit from group support in building self-compassion.