Supporting Challenging Students with Trauma-Informed and Strengths-Based Strategies

Course Number:  EDU 5515 C04 (Graduate)
Instructor: Alex Shevrin
Location: CCV Winooski
Dates and Times: February 3 to March 17, 2018. In-person meetings on the first and last day of the course Saturday, February 3rd and Saturday, March 17. The remainder in an online environment using Moodle
Credits: 2 credits
Tuition: $600

Note: Purchase order or payment of $600, payable to RRWIB, is due at the time of registration. Please mail check to the Castleton Center for Schools, PO Box 6049, Rutland, VT 05701. If you wish to pay by credit card, please call the Center for Schools at (802) 770-7060.

Course Description

All students are capable of learning, but when working with students who have challenging behaviors it doesn’t always feel that way. To best serve these challenging students, we need to understand the underlying issues that cause that challenging behavior. Once we’re grounded in understanding, then we need to have a robust toolbelt of frames and strategies for working with those students. In this course we will explore theories of learning and behavior as well as models of problem-solving and classroom management. We’ll explore our own beliefs and biases, and articulate philosophies and frames to guide our work. By the end of this course, participants will understand how to use trauma-informed and strength-based strategies in their classrooms. Additionally, they’ll understand the types of shifts that teams, schools or districts could make to better support students with challenging behavior.

Course Objectives/Goals

Course Goals: 
To better serve behaviorally challenging students through strategies grounded in trauma-informed practice and strengths-based approaches.

Course Objectives:
Participants will:
● Identify their own philosophies, beliefs and biases in working with challenging students
● Develop an understanding of trauma-informed teaching strategies
● Assess their own practice through a student-centered, strengths-based lens
● Develop an action plan for better supporting challenging students.

Required Texts

Required texts are not included in cost of course.
● Fostering Resilient Learners by Kristin Souers and Pete Hall
● Lost at School by Ross Greene

Other Information Not Listed Above

● In person meeting #1
○ Restorative circle model to reflect on our experiences with challenging students
○ Several interactive activities to start conversations and reflect on our personal beliefs and experiences as they relate to serving challenging students 
○ Individual reflective writing time
○ Community-building
● Online weeks
○ Read and reflect using messageboards/collaborative conversations
○ Student case study
○ Individual learning targets
● In person meeting #2
○ Restorative circle model to reflect on learning
○ Goal setting through interactive conversation protocols 
○ Overview of further resources and supports 

The course will be organized around three main project components:
● In-person meeting #1: After a series of conversations and interactive activities, participants will create a self-reflective teacher profile: a portfolio of reflective writing identifying one’s own experiences, biases, and beliefs as those relate to working with challenging students. 
● Online weeks: concept exploration and student case study - participants will use readings and their own perspectives to explore several lenses of understanding of challenging students. Teachers will complete a case study applying these frames to one of their current or past students.
● In-person meeting #2: We will use discussions with one another to synthesize our learning and thoughts, and use this synthesis to create several levels of goals: a personal action-research plan for our individual work as well as “in a perfect world” goals for school and system-wide change. 

Evaluation: Students will submit a reflection and action-research plan along with a self-evaluation of learning

For additional course information

Alex Shevrin
(802) 489-6739

For additional registration information

Bethany Sprague
(802) 770-7060

Register online now!