"Trauma can be transformed; it does not have to be a life sentence" (Levine & Kline, 2019, p. 10)
The pervasive destructive impact of trauma on our students’ ability to learn and function in school and in their lives can be comprehensively addressed with evidence-based interventions. A shift in how we view our students and our roles as educators will result in lasting change to our educational practices.
Teacher educators have the power to lead the way in setting the standards for how programs prepare and support teachers to educate their students. Educators are in a uniquely influential position to advocate for students, more so than any other profession serving children and adolescents. Teacher educators are in the best position to advocate for the preparation needs of our teachers. PAUSE
Educators are responsible for exactly two jobs: facilitating the teaching and learning process and creating opportunities for students…. tasks which require specific knowledge and skill sets. The requisite knowledge and the relevant skill sets have evolved as the current student population faces a reality for which the educational system and those within it are not prepared.
The education system is still pushing out the same students it always has, while growing their numbers. Many of the students the system “erases” are still strong, resilient fighters and survivors until they are removed. If teacher education programs can provide the skills and abilities educators truly need to facilitate these students’ learning and empower them through all available opportunities, our society will follow these students’ lead as they effect positive changes in communities across the nation.
Strong, effective leadership comes not only from academic knowledge but from overcoming personal struggle, fighting for empowerment, and building the resilience to thrive. When educators succeed in teaching our fighters, these students possess the capacity to enhance society’s awareness of viable methods to address challenges, unite separate factions working to ensure equal rights for all people, and inspire and lead the transformation of society and education.