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


Navigation

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

References

Baker, L. L. (2002). Children exposed to domestic violence: A teacher's handbook to increase understanding and improve community responses. London, Ontario: Centre for Children & Families in the Justice System.

Behind closed doors. (2006). Retrieved October 5, 2016, from http://www.unicef.org/media/files/BehindClosedDoors.pdf

Bernstein-Yamashiro, B., & Noam, G. G. (2013). Teacher-student relationships: A growing field of study. New Directions For Youth Development, 2013(137), 1526.

Cole, S. F., Eisner, A., Gregory, M., & Ristuccia, J. (2013). Helping traumatized children learn. Boston, MA: Massachusetts Advocates for Children.

Cousins, M., & Callary, M. (2012). Domestic Violence: An Important Social Issue for Schools. TEACH Journal of Christian Education, 3(1), 10-13.

Craig, S. E. (2008). Reaching and teaching children who hurt: Strategies for your classroom. Baltimore: Paul H. Brookes Pub.

Crosson-Tower, C. (2003). The role of educators in preventing and responding to child abuse and neglect. Washington, D.C.: U.S. Dept. of Health and Human Services, Administration for Children and Families, Administration on Children, Youth and Families, Children's Bureau, Office on Child Abuse and Neglect.

Engebretson, K. E., & Weiss, A. M. (2015). A brave new curriculum: empowering teachers and students in times of trauma. Curriculum And Teaching Dialogue, (1-2), 57.

Gurwitch, R. H., Messer, E. P., Masse, J., Olafson, E., Boat, B. W., & Putnam, F. W. (2016). Child–Adult Relationship Enhancement (CARE): An evidence informed program for children with a history of trauma and other behavioral challenges. Child Abuse & Neglect, 53, 138-145. doi:10.1016/j.chiabu.2015.10.016

Holt, S. L. (2015). AN EXPLORATION OF THE IMPACTS THAT EXPERIENCING DOMESTIC VIOLENCE CAN HAVE ON A CHILD'S PRIMARY SCHOOL EDUCATION: VIEW OF EDUCATIONAL STAFF. British Journal Of Community Justice, 13(2), 7-26.

Maclean, M. J., Taylor, C. L., & O’Donnell, M. (2016). Pre-existing adversity, level of child protection involvement, and school attendance predict educational outcomes in a longitudinal study. Child Abuse & Neglect, 51, 120-131. doi:10.1016/j.chiabu.2015.10.026

Peckover, S., & Trotter, F. (2015). Keeping the focus on children: the challenges of safeguarding children affected by domestic abuse. Health & Social Care In The Community, 23(4), 399-407. doi:10.1111/hsc.12160

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

Ward, D. (2014, April). Dealing with the effects of domestic violence on pupils. Retrieved October 26, 2016, from www.eani.org.uk/_resources/assets/attachment/full/0/41603.pdf