Teaching involves more than curriculum and classroom management, it also increasingly involves helping students who survive trauma to recover and continue to heal and learn.
Students may be dealing with street violence, drug addiction, sexual abuse, homelessness, or feelings over a parents death or divorce. All of these circumstances interfere with ability to learn, and teachers are aware that some students carry a large load of emotional baggage.
Wealth and suburban neighborhoods do not shield students from trauma. It happens in all neighborhoods. A recent study by Johns Hopkins University has found that nearly half of the children in the United States experience trauma, and 1 in 5 experience at least two types of trauma that can affect development.
Trauma in young children can affect the development of the brain. It causes a reduced brain cortex, which controls memory, perception, language, and thinking. According to the National Child Traumatic Stress Network, changes to the brain cortex can affect IQ, emotion regulation, and fear.