Learning from students experiencing trauma

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“It’s so important to realize that when you’re working with kids, almost nothing they do is about you. It’s about them because their job is to grow up and it’s hard and it’s heavy.” – Carol Ann Tomlinson

Carol Tomlinson is a Professor Emeritus at the University of Virginia. She’s worked with undergraduates, master’s students, and doctoral students, predominantly in the areas of curriculum design and differentiated instruction. Tomlinson also spent two decades in a K-12 classroom and it was there where she learned how to work with kids dealing with abuse, bullying, or other forms of trauma.

In Episode 173 of Class Dismissed, Tomlinson shares three different moments she learned how to work with kids who hurt. Her takeaways from these moments include…

  • There’s wide variation in how young people respond to trauma, “from almost complete withdrawal to an atomic explosion.”
  • Students need to know that their worth as humans is not tied up in academic skills and grades.
  • No academic goal is worth the soul of a child.

“It’s so important to realize that when you’re working with kids, almost nothing they do is about you, says Tomlinson. “It’s about them because their job is to grow up and it’s hard and it’s heavy.”

To hear Tomlinson’s stories, listen to episode 173 of the Class Dismissed Podcast episodes on iTunes or your favorite podcasting app.

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