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

Ohio Christian to Host Education Summit in November image

Ohio Christian to Host Education Summit in November

Ohio Christian to Host Education Summit in November image

Published: October 16, 2019

Ohio Christian University is pleased to welcome government officials, teachers and the public to its 2019 Education Summit on Nov 15. The purpose of the summit is to bring in education stakeholders to discuss Ohio’s new strategic education plan “Each Child, Our Future” and the next steps moving forward. The event will be held in Ohio Christian’s Ministry
Ohio Christian University is pleased to welcome government officials, teachers and the public to its 2019 Education Summit on Nov 15. The purpose of the summit is to bring in education stakeholders to discuss Ohio’s new strategic education plan “Each Child, Our Future” and the next steps moving forward. The event will be held in Ohio Christian’s Ministry
Ohio Christian University is pleased to welcome government officials, teachers and the public to its 2019 Education Summit on Nov 15. The purpose of the summit is to bring in education stakeholders
Trailblazers in Reading image

Trailblazers in Reading

Trailblazers in Reading image

Published: August 12, 2019

Submitted by Professor Scott Barr American author Henry David Thoreau wrote, “How many a man has dated a new era in his life from the reading of a book.” This holds true for many of the young men and women in Professor Anita Conkel and Professor Scott Barr’s English composition classes. On April 15, students marked their participation in “The Great American Read” with a celebration sponsored by the English Department and hosted by the Maxwell Library staff. “The Great American Read” is a nationwide event started by the Public Broadcast System (PBS) in 2018. One hundred influential and
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OCU Assisted with Summer Institute for Teachers image

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OCU Assisted with Summer Institute for Teachers image

Published: June 14, 2019

The 2019 Summer Institute took place on June 3-7. The Ohio Christian University Teacher Education Department partnered with Circleville City Schools, Pickaway County Board of Developmental Disabilities, and Pickaway County ESC to design an institute that would benefit many educators. Courses offered for graduate credit included Trauma Informed Care Training II, Orton-Gillingham Training, and Google Classroom Training. The Ohio Christian University Teacher Education Department believes in providing excellent and effective professional development for the teachers and the school
The 2019 Summer Institute took place on June 3-7. The Ohio Christian University Teacher Education Department partnered with Circleville City Schools, Pickaway County Board of Developmental Disabilities, and Pickaway County ESC to design an institute that would benefit many educators. Courses offered for graduate credit included Trauma Informed Care Training II, Orton-Gillingham Training, and
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OCU T.E. Group Observes Educators in Finland and Sweden image

OCU T.E. Group Observes Educators in Finland and Sweden

OCU T.E. Group Observes Educators in Finland and Sweden image

Published: June 6, 2019

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Summer Institute Courses

Summer Institute Courses image

Published: May 10, 2019

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Archived Articles of Interest

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A pre-Teacher Education student was recently in my office to express enthusiastic gratitude for the valuable mentoring received from Courtney Teague, a sophomore in the OCU Middle Childhood Teacher Education program (with concentrations in Math and Science.)   Because of Courtney’s kindness, encouragement, mentoring, and teaching, the student who was struggling in a general education
A pre-Teacher Education student was recently in my office to express enthusiastic gratitude for the valuable mentoring received from Courtney Teague, a sophomore in the OCU Middle Childhood Teacher
OCU Teacher Education Student With a Passion for Missions image

OCU Teacher Education Student With a Passion for Missions

OCU Teacher Education Student With a Passion for Missions image

Published: May 14, 2015

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Lauren (Bivens) Sisley
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OCU’s Maxwell Library Supports Learning image

OCU’s Maxwell Library Supports Learning

OCU’s Maxwell Library Supports Learning image

Published: October 15, 2014

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The Melvin and Laura Maxwell Library has been a cornerstone to support learning at Ohio Christian University for many decades. In addition to physical resources, the library provides faculty and students with access to a growing collection of digital content. Through membership in the OhioLINK consortium, the library participates in cost-effective digital resource acquisition, provides users
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New 3-Year Bachelor’s Degree Saves Time and Money for OCU Students image

New 3-Year Bachelor’s Degree Saves Time and Money for OCU Students

New 3-Year Bachelor’s Degree Saves Time and Money for OCU Students image

Published: June 12, 2014

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