Trauma Informed: Key to working with and understanding youth

As someone that has spent the past few years working as a high school teacher, every year I inherit a new class with unique social, emotional, and mental challenges. This has persuaded me to try and glean into the mental health and psychology of students that have come in and out of my classroom.

Anyone that has worked with young adults, youth, or adolescences understands that some of these kids just require more patience and more time. Often times, the kids that require more of time and patience are usually the kids that have lost a parent, experienced abuse, or are trying to find their place in a new family unit after a parent has remarried. (All of these are real life examples I have experienced). Frankly, these kids are usually just not present when they come into my class, but it is my job to provide a safe environment for them to receive an education just like every other kid that enters my class because they can!

For young people to thrive, they need stable, ongoing support from adults who understand them. A student once told me “Everyone I have ever opened up to did not stick around”. Often times we categorize superheroes as one’s that can immediately solve problems, but I have found that kids look up to parents, teachers, and child welfare leaders that are consistent, faithful, and believe in them.

“What if every professional working with youth and young adults understood that with guidance, education and support, each of these young people, no matter their race, their circumstances or where they came from, literally has the built-in brain power to adapt, learn and thrive?” Sandra Gasca-Gonzalez writes in the op-ed. “The science is clear. The adolescent brain is perfectly designed to do its job of building to adulthood. Let’s get better at doing ours.”

For those who work with young adults, youth, and adolescences, let us become better at serving them by doing our part in becoming a trauma informed community.

Below is an op-ed by Sandra Gasca-Gonzalez

 The Promise of Adolescence: Realizing Opportunity for All Youth.

By: Seth Garret

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