Teaching Children Affected by Family Violence


Designed by: Catherine Sadowski

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Overview and Purpose

The topic of family violence and how this affects the way students learn, their relationships, and how to address this in the classroom is unfortunately one that many of us deal with on a daily basis. These students have different needs and there are certain techniques that work best when approaching students with this type of trauma. For this wiki-page I aim to cover this topic. After completing the course, you will be able to teach children affected by family violence given several techniques every single day in their classroom.

Needs Assessment

Educators will learn how to spot students impacted by family violence through problem behaviors in school and will learn techniques to support children impacted by family violence.

One goal of this course is to help educators recognize that some problem behaviors by students are the result of the inability to process the traumatic events they are experiencing at home. The second goal would be for teachers to respond appropriately to these behaviors in a kind and compassionate manner as to provide students with a stable and caring learning environment at school, unlike the unstable and scary environment at home. The third goal is that through implementing techniques to care for students impacted by family violence would be that they may perform to their full potential and begin to overcome their trauma.

Performance Objectives

Participants will be able to:

  • Identify student problem behaviors during interactions as ones triggered by family violence
  • Understand that students may be suffering academically because of family violence before being critical of their performance
  • Provide a supportive and caring environment where students may thrive at all times
  • Design protocols on how to respond to students traumatized by family violence appropriately and compassionately in a classroom setting

Course Units

This mini-course includes the following lessons. Click the title of a lesson to go to its page.

Lesson 1: What is family violence? Signs of trauma

  1. The learner will define family violence (prerequisite)
  2. The learner will identify the necessity of being able to identify trauma in the classroom (prerequisite)
  3. The learner will watch video on childhood trauma
  4. The learner will read signs of trauma (prerequisite)

Lesson 2: Effects of family violence on academics, emotions, and relationships

  1. The learner will read an article on the effects of family violence on academics
  2. The learner will read about the effects of family violence on emotions
  3. The learner will read about the effects of family violence on relationships
  4. The learner will view a video on the effects of family violence
  5. The learner will complete a quiz on the effects of family violence

Lesson 3: Methods to help students cope

  1. The learner will hypothesize what type of approach would be beneficial to helping students of trauma cope
  2. The learner will research ways to respond appropriately and compassionately when students have experienced family trauma
  3. The learner will justify why these methods would be helpful to a student who has experienced family violence
  4. The learner will create a cheat sheet of “go-to” strategies to consistently utilize in their classroom to create a safe, compassionate, and supportive learning environment


Home Page

Lesson 1: What is family violence? Signs of trauma

Lesson 2: Effects of family violence on academics, emotions, and relationships

Lesson 3: Methods to help students cope


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Trauma-Informed Care for Children Exposed to Violence Tips for Teachers. (2011, September 19). Retrieved October 23, 2016, from https://www.justice.gov/defendingchildhood

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