Supporting Challenging Students: Trauma-Informed and Strengths-Based Strategies, Shevrin Venet, Fall 2019

Course Number:  EDU 5515 C25
Instructor: Alex Shevrin Venet
Location: In-person & Online. 2 in-person sessions (6 hours each) with 8 weeks online class (no class during Thanksgiving week). Friday, October 4, 9:00-2:30 face-to-face #1 at CCV Montpelier and course start. Friday, December 6, 9:00-2:30 face-to-face #2 at CCV Montpelier.
Dates and Times: October 4 to December 13, 2019
Credits: 3 graduate credits
Tuition: $975

Note: Course payment of $975 by check or purchase order, payable to Castleton University, is due at the time of registration. A purchase order number can be entered into the online registration form and the purchase order can be uploaded to the registration form. If paying by check, please mail the check to Financial & Registration Services, Castleton University, 62 Alumni Drive, Castleton, VT 05735. To help us ensure that your payment is applied to the correct course, PLEASE WRITE “CFS” IN THE CHECK MEMO LINE. Thank you.

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 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 through conflict so we can engage in meaningful learning.

 In this course we will explore theories of learning and behavior as well as models of problem-solving and classroom management. Using a student case study model, 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.

Audience: All educators. This course is ideal for classroom teachers, arts, music and physical education teachers, and student support staff. The philosophy and strategies in this course are aligned with Tier 1 and 2 restorative practices, and will integrate well with schools engaged in ongoing professional development around restorative practices or trauma-informed education.


Course Goals & Objectives

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
  • Learn and practice new problem-solving strategies
  • Develop an action plan for better supporting challenging students

Required Texts

  • Fostering Resilient Learners by Kristin Souers and Pete Hall
  • Lost at School by Ross Greene

  For additional course information

Alex Shevrin Venet


For additional registration information

Bethany Sprague
(802) 468-1325

Register online now!