Building Trauma-Sensitive Schools
Welcome, I’m so glad you’re here! Perhaps you’re wondering, “Why should educators be building trauma-sensitive schools?” And, “Who is Ms. Jen?” Let’s dive into answers to both questions below.
Who is Ms. Jen?
Let me start by saying that I’m a teacher who believes that educators can make a positive difference with all students–one relationship at a time. My pronouns are she/her. Like many other females born in the 1970s, my first and middle names are Jennifer Lynn. As such, early in my career, I became Ms. Jen in order to distinguish between the Jennifers, Jennies, and Jens already on my team. It has stuck with kids and grown-ups alike!
Why Trauma-Sensitive Schools?
As an experienced educator, school counselor, trauma expert, author, and PD facilitator, I have over twenty years experience working with youth and the educators who serve them. Above all, I’m passionate about building trauma-sensitive schools. What do I mean by a trauma-sensitive school? In short, it’s a community where every person–every single one–is safe and feels safe to be fully who they are, which helps everyone learn. It comes from people taking good care of one another. Educators in these environments understand how big stress (trauma) impacts wellbeing, relationships, and learning. From there, leaders and all faculty center equity while intentionally making changes to prevent trauma. At the same time, they show that relationships come first by sensitively responding to the needs of all people through trauma-informed practices. Ultimately, these practices increase freedom for living, learning, and growing.
What do I mean by a trauma-sensitive school? In short, it’s a community where every person–every single one–is safe and feels safe to be fully who they are, which helps everyone learn.
I have written two books so far. Building Trauma-Sensitive Schools: Your Guide to Creating Safe, Supportive Learning Environments was published in 2019. Read about a few suggestions from that book in this Brookes Publishing blog post entitled 11 Things You Can Do Right Now to Build a More Trauma-Sensitive Classroom.
My second book Supporting Students and Staff After COVID-19: Your Trauma-Sensitive Back-To-School Transition Plan was released in 2020. Learn more about it by reading my Q&A with Brookes Publishing. Or, check out the video below!
Fun facts? I’m also a…
- Dog lover
Finally, I’d like to mention that I’m a human who appreciates truth and beauty in all its forms. When we connect, ask me about my backyard prairie if you want to; it changes with every season.
So glad you’re here because I have much to share with you. Consider coming back often as I’m delighted to learn with you as we work together to build trauma-sensitive schools.
Take good care,