Reaching and Teaching Stressed and Anxious Learners in Grades 4-8
Strategies for Relieving Distress and Trauma in Schools and Classrooms
- Barbara E. Oehlberg - Child Trauma and Educational Consultant, Ohio
Behaviour Management | School Counselling | Teaching Methods & Learning Styles
-Susan Ross, Coordinator of Health Services
Canton City Schools, OH
`With the wisdom in this important work, we can help our children develop new strategies for successful living in a stressful world.'
-Stephen Canneto, Director
Art for a Child's Safe America Foundation
`Links sound neurological research with practical activities for educators and youth workers.'
-Martha de Acosta, Director
Education and Training Programs
Milton S. Eisenhower Foundation
From trauma, stress, and hopelessness to safety, challenge, and optimism!
Not all children cope equally well with the stresses and traumas life throws their way, and every educator recognizes that "deer in the headlights" look some children get when current events and past traumas combine to trigger a fight-or-flight stress response. No matter how safe the classroom may be in reality, trauma deactivates cognitive skills, and learning cannot resume until the child's equilibrium has been restored.
This important new resource helps educators understand how trauma and stress interfere with cognitive skills, and how classroom and school activities can be used to restore feelings of safety, empowerment, and well-being. Topics include:
Neurobiology of the developing child and how cognitive lock-out from the neocortex occurs during stress responses
Strategies for reactivating cognitive skills, memory, and the ability to learn following stress responses
How acting-out behaviors are linked to stress and trauma
How to generate a united effort on school safety and violence prevention issues
Teachers, counselors, principals, and administrators will find that these innovative strategies enhance feelings of safety and optimism in all learning environments and programs, transforming hopelessness and anxiety into resiliency and hope.
"An 'aroused' child, a child in distress, will experience problems with attending, focusing, retaining, and recalling information--all critical functions. Oehlberg's book provides a wealth of activities that can actually reduce arousal/anxiety in children which research has clearly shown can lead to healthier cognitive functions as well as behavioral stability. This should be a mandated resource for all schools."
"Reaching and Teaching Overstressed Learners in Grades 4-8 links sound neurological research with practical activities for educators and youth workers. Oehlberg expands our focus of attention about why young people are not learning. The activities she proposes are conducive to creating a safe climate where young people feel they belong and it is safe to learn."
"Having knowledge of loss, stress and anxiety experienced by our children offers those of us who interact with them an opportunity to respond with sensitivity and reflective action. Barbara Oehlberg not only identifies the issues, but also provides activities that can help us gain greater insight into the child's world and provide opportunities for empowerment and healing."
"Neglect, abuse, violence, and homelessness have altered the way many of our children relate to each other, their families, and school communities. Through her examination of the neurological research and brain development literature, Oehlberg helps illuminate our understanding of the root causes of our students' lack of attention and destructive behaviors...With the wisdom in this important work, we can help our children develop new strategies for successful living in a stressful world."
"(The author) shares her message of hope and healing through an understanding of the impact of trauma, stress and loss on young children. Once we begin to accept and metabolize the research (on) changes that can occur in the developing brain when under stress and trauma, we can begin to address the many behavioral isues and challenges that we face in raising and teaching our children."
This book will help the teacher create a classroom in which all students feel safe, where they can learn to express themselves in appropriate ways, and where they may develop trusting relationships with adults. The purposes of schooling are important and the meaning of learning is profound, but without a safe place to be, the heart of the child cannot be touched and the power of education to transform lives and our world is not possible. What lies within each child is the key to the future.