Practical Trauma-Responsive Social and Emotional Learning Strategies for the Classroom

The purpose of this presentation is to build your capacity to integrate and infuse trauma-sensitive social and emotional learning strategies into your classroom. You will come away with doable and simple strategies to establish the positive classroom culture you envision and to keep it going all year. Strategies for building youth social and emotional learning competencies while maintaining an engaging classroom learning environment will be demonstrated. Techniques for ending power struggles and responding effectively to disruptive behavior will be modeled.

Is disruptive, disrespectful, or off-task behavior detracting from engagement in your classroom? Are you feeling stress, burnout, or exhaustion due to challenging behavior in your school? You are not alone. Teachers cite this as their greatest challenge and are often shocked by the variety and intensity of behavioral issues they face. Sustaining social and emotional learning strategies in your classroom will lead to a healthier, safer, and more positive classroom environment.  In addition, students with behavioral difficulties will experience improved self-regulation, less depressive symptoms, less externalizing problems, and greater engagement. Moreover, youth voice, leadership, and mindfulness will grow. Teachers implementing trauma-sensitive SEL practices report less stress, better health, and significantly more time to teach each day, not to mention much fewer power struggles. In this session, you will get an engaging, user-friendly approach for implementing and sustaining classroom SEL.

Mental, emotional, behavioral, and health problems are interrelated and stem from a set of common conditions (National Research Council & Institute of Medicine, 2009). the common conditions for mental, emotional, behavioral, and health problems? Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs) is the term given to describe common conditions for mental, emotional, and behavioral disorders. ACEs include all types of abuse, neglect, and other traumatic experiences that occur to individuals under the age of 18 (more info here:

This workshop is critical to educators or service providers who work with youth with emotional and behavioral challenges. Practical and doable strategies will be modeled. Real world video examples of each strategy will be shown. We will provide an engaging, user-friendly approach for implementing and sustaining classroom social and emotional learning strategies.

Learn how to:

  • Build youth social and emotional learning (SEL) competence through sustained positive interactions
  • Enhance adult SEL competence
  • End the use of power struggles and reduce teacher burnout, stress, and exhaustion.
  • Boost youth classroom engagement, voice, and leadership


Time Topics
8:00-8:30 Welcome and Logistics
8:30-9:00 The Why: Why trauma-responsive SEL strategies are worth it
9:00-10:00 Foundational Strategies:

1)    Youth Leadership

2)    Norms

3)    Engagement

10:00-10:15 Break
10:15-11:30 Foundational Strategies:

1)    Welcoming Strategies

2)    Zone Checks

3)    Class meetings

4)    Optimistic Closures

11:30-12:30 Lunch
12:30-1:45 Transformational Strategies: Reset

1)    Non-verbals

2)    Two-Step

3)    Catch Phrase

4)    A Game Oasis

1:45-2:00 Team Time/Break: Prioritizing Next Steps (Timelines, tasks, and plan)
2:00-3:15 Transformational Strategies: Reset

1)    Classroom Reset

2)    Restorative Reset

3)    Breaks

3:15-3:30 Wrap-Up and Team Planning Time