Follow Christ, Lead the Way
Trauma Informed Care Training Hits Needs Head-On image

On June 4 and 5, Ohio Christian University hosted over 150 participants attending the Southern Ohio Trauma Informed Care Training.

OCU undergraduate and graduate teacher education students as well as area educators, pastors, administrators, and social workers listened to informative sessions covering topics ranging from classroom teaching to social work case management.  They engaged in dynamic discussions, break-out activities and tasks that raised questions and prompted fresh thinking by even the most inquisitive participants.

Hosted by social workers Amanda Knotts and Bryston McKnight of The Ohio Department of Developmental Disabilities and Ohio Mental Health and Addiction Services, the training’s main theme was how to best help traumatized children enrolled in public school classrooms. The presenters hit head-on with force and passion the need for teachers and service providers to not only become informed but also transformed and compelled to take action.

Trauma is caused to anyone impacted by an event, or series of events, through physical, emotional, or social actions or behaviors that cause harmful, sometimes life-threatening, effects on mental, physical, social, emotional, and spiritual well-being.  Explaining that the majority of children, teens, and young adults have experienced traumas and are presenting one or more symptoms, the expert instructors presented best practices to help the workshop participants gauge pupils’ circumstances that impact their learning ability.  “Showing an understanding of their organic situations,” participant Carrie Kerr explains, “can make all the difference in showing pupils that you really care about their well-being.”

To get the most from this training, participants recalled specific techniques for avoiding re-traumatization while administering self-efficacy of resiliency.  For example, if a teacher suspects a pupil has been abused, the teacher should not ask questions that prod the pupil. However, if the child is willing to talk, then first carefully listening followed by speaking with a guidance counselor about completing an ACE Score assessment for that pupil will help gauge their exposure to and degree of abuse.

Understanding these scores, Knotts and McKnight explain will not necessarily solve the pupils’ problems, but it certainly is helpful as the teacher seeks to build trust and decrease fear, emotional injury, and physical injury, and to preserve the relationship in the classroom. “If a child acts reserved in class, but you know they play basketball, make an effort to show and support that,” explains McKnight.  “You wouldn’t believe how open-doors conversation can bring to healing trauma.”

ACE scores, self-efficacy, and avoiding re-traumatization are key techniques educators can use to produce successful student skills in the classroom that will carry over into traumatized children’s adulthood.  Participants discovered the science behind traumatized children’s decisions, patterns, and maladaptive behaviors.  The presenters busted common myths.  In turn, participants asked questions that tested assumptions through hands-on activities, questioning, and commentary.

Creating a warm and open atmosphere through group activities, participants learned not only how to approach children authentically, but how to predict, practice, and plan while reflecting, honoring, and connecting with those in whom they make contact.

As a former teacher and now department chair of Education, Valerie Jones encouraged participants to “use your connections to make connections.”  For educators, social workers, or professionals who work with those going through traumatizing situations, learning to help others through distressed circumstances is imperative to our identity and character as servants of Christ’s body.

“We provide these trainings because we want to help educators be armed with all the tools necessary to be an excellent teacher today, as well as give our OCU Teacher Education students professional development activities to help them prepare for the classroom and connect with educators and administrators,” concludes Jones.

Articles of Interest

On-Campus College or Online College: Which Fits You? image

On-Campus College or Online College: Which Fits You?

On-Campus College or Online College: Which Fits You? image

Published: April 26, 2019

by Dr. Lynn Lease, Director of OCUOnline Plus Long gone are the days of being limited to simply deciding which college to attend. Today’s incoming college freshmen have the choice of an on-campus program, an online program, or a combination of the two. But which option best fits you? In order to choose what fits you best, there are important considerations for each option. Location and Setting When you consider going away to college, it is important to not only consider the qualities of the school but also the location and the setting. How far away from home is optimal? Do you want
by Dr. Lynn Lease, Director of OCUOnline Plus Long gone are the days of being limited to simply deciding which college to attend. Today’s incoming college freshmen have the choice of an on-campus program, an online program, or a combination of the two. But which option best fits you? In order to choose what fits you best, there are important considerations for each option. Location and
by Dr. Lynn Lease, Director of OCUOnline Plus Long gone are the days of being limited to simply deciding which college to attend. Today’s incoming college freshmen have the choice of an on-campus
OCU Kappa Delta Pi Chapter Inducts 28 New Members image

OCU Kappa Delta Pi Chapter Inducts 28 New Members

OCU Kappa Delta Pi Chapter Inducts 28 New Members image

Published: April 26, 2019

CIRCLEVILLE, OHIO—Kappa Delta Pi, International Honor Society in Education, is pleased to announce that 28 preservice educators have been invited and inducted into its membership through the Alpha Iota Sigma Chapter of Ohio Christian University. The initiation ceremony took place on April 9, 2019 at The Ministry and Performing Arts Center. The ceremony opened with Dr. Hank Kelly, Provost at Ohio Christian University, giving the welcome and prayer. Dr. Ann Shelly, of Kappa Delta Pi, installed the new members, the Alpha Iota Sigma Chapter and the officers. Mr. Jonathan Davis,
CIRCLEVILLE, OHIO—Kappa Delta Pi, International Honor Society in Education, is pleased to announce that 28 preservice educators have been invited and inducted into its membership through the Alpha Iota Sigma Chapter of Ohio Christian University. The initiation ceremony took place on April 9, 2019 at The Ministry and Performing Arts Center. The ceremony opened with Dr. Hank Kelly, Provost at
CIRCLEVILLE, OHIO—Kappa Delta Pi, International Honor Society in Education, is pleased to announce that 28 preservice educators have been invited and inducted into its membership through the Alpha

Archived Articles of Interest

OCU Graduate Update - Justin Hamilton image

OCU Graduate Update - Justin Hamilton

OCU Graduate Update - Justin Hamilton image

Published: October 24, 2016

Justin is a 2016 graduate, earning his Bachelor of Arts in Middle Childhood Education (grades 4-9) with concentrations in English Language Arts and Social Studies. Justin has obtained his license and is now serving as a substitute for all of Pickaway County, schools in Ross County, such as Unioto and Zane Trace, and also Teays Valley School District. Aside from subbing, Justin is working and just finished a collection of H.P. Lovecraft novels. He has enjoyed having more time for family and his church as well. Keep up the good work Justin!
Justin is a 2016 graduate, earning his Bachelor of Arts in Middle Childhood Education (grades 4-9) with concentrations in English Language Arts and Social Studies. Justin has obtained his license and is now serving as a substitute for all of Pickaway County, schools in Ross County, such as Unioto and Zane Trace, and also Teays Valley School District. Aside from subbing, Justin is working and
Justin is a 2016 graduate, earning his Bachelor of Arts in Middle Childhood Education (grades 4-9) with concentrations in English Language Arts and Social Studies. Justin has obtained his license
Teacher Education Department Meeting image

Teacher Education Department Meeting

Teacher Education Department Meeting image

Published: October 24, 2016

The Teacher Education Department had a meeting with all students Wednesday, October 19th.  Topics on the agenda were new CAEP accreditation standards, ideas for a TE spring trip, updates on the potential AYA programs, information about supplies and materials that are available to them.  A survey was taken concerning student retention and degree completion.
The Teacher Education Department had a meeting with all students Wednesday, October 19th.  Topics on the agenda were new CAEP accreditation standards, ideas for a TE spring trip, updates on the potential AYA programs, information about supplies and materials that are available to them.  A survey was taken concerning student retention and degree completion.
The Teacher Education Department had a meeting with all students Wednesday, October 19th.  Topics on the agenda were new CAEP accreditation standards, ideas for a TE spring trip, updates on the
OCU Graduate Update - Annie Edmonds image

OCU Graduate Update - Annie Edmonds

OCU Graduate Update - Annie Edmonds image

Published: October 24, 2016

OCU graduate Annie Edmonds shares this update from the field: I am currently working at New Beginnings Christian school  in Columbus Ohio, teaching first grade. There are countless times I refer back to my education while in the classroom. It is so encouraging to know that I still have a great support system at OCU, I know that if I ever needed anything they would be there in a heartbeat! I am thankful for each one of my professors that took time to help me achieve my goals and dreams!  
OCU graduate Annie Edmonds shares this update from the field: I am currently working at New Beginnings Christian school  in Columbus Ohio, teaching first grade. There are countless times I refer back to my education while in the classroom. It is so encouraging to know that I still have a great support system at OCU, I know that if I ever needed anything they would be there in a heartbeat! I
OCU graduate Annie Edmonds shares this update from the field: I am currently working at New Beginnings Christian school  in Columbus Ohio, teaching first grade. There are countless times I refer
OCU Student Finds Hope Through Classmates image

OCU Student Finds Hope Through Classmates

OCU Student Finds Hope Through Classmates image

Published: October 17, 2016

By Krista Williams In a time where our country and humanity is living in a great amount of fear, being at OCU gives me so much hope. I find peace in being here as I look around the classrooms- I see the future. I sit and look at all of the hardworking students and how each one of them has a divine purpose they are preparing for. A purpose given specially to them because of their skills and abilities. A purpose given to them because our King knows what He is doing. I sit in a class of 20 people and think, "there are 20 world changers right here." It amazes me to think what we, as
By Krista Williams In a time where our country and humanity is living in a great amount of fear, being at OCU gives me so much hope. I find peace in being here as I look around the classrooms- I see the future. I sit and look at all of the hardworking students and how each one of them has a divine purpose they are preparing for. A purpose given specially to them because of their skills and
By Krista Williams In a time where our country and humanity is living in a great amount of fear, being at OCU gives me so much hope. I find peace in being here as I look around the classrooms- I
OCU to Host FAFSA Workshop on Oct. 8th image

OCU to Host FAFSA Workshop on Oct. 8th

OCU to Host FAFSA Workshop on Oct. 8th image

Published: October 3, 2016

By Amanda Plotts, Staff Reporter for the Circleville Herald   Future college students who need help navigating the financial aid system are encouraged to attend FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid) Day, a financial aid workshop sponsored by Pickaway HELPS (Higher Education Learning Partners for Students) and Ohio Christian University (OCU). The workshop is free and will take place on Oct. 8 from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. at OCU’s Maxwell Center. Professional financial counselors will be available to give individual help, answer questions, and assist with the online
By Amanda Plotts, Staff Reporter for the Circleville Herald   Future college students who need help navigating the financial aid system are encouraged to attend FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid) Day, a financial aid workshop sponsored by Pickaway HELPS (Higher Education Learning Partners for Students) and Ohio Christian University (OCU). The workshop is free and will
By Amanda Plotts, Staff Reporter for the Circleville Herald   Future college students who need help navigating the financial aid system are encouraged to attend FAFSA (Free Application for