What to do in your classroom.

Children who experience trauma can experience long-term behavioural, social, psychological and academic challenges. Other impacts include decreased self-esteem, increased risk of anxiety and depression, difficulties establishing and maintaining positive peer relationships, and conduct-disordered and inappropriate behaviours. Our case study demonstrates how early life and ongoing experiences of adversity can be seen as shaping behaviour and outcomes in a learning environment. Jamie has shown some learning difficulties and has difficulty maintaining his attention and concentrating on his classwork. He can also be prone to outbursts and temper tantrums in the classroom and aggressive behaviour towards school staff and other pupils (Hughes et al., 2018).

Teachers and others who work in a school setting can help students to see themselves as healthy and strong and can promote wellbeing in children, including those who have experienced adversity. A strengths-based approach engages can help to build social, emotional and cognitive skills in children and empower them to become more resilient (Linley, 2008). For example, the actions taken by Jamie’s teacher have helped him improve his behaviour and to build more positive relationships with his peers. Below we outline some of the methods that teachers can use to build students resilience and wellbeing.