Most teachers are not trained on how to support students who struggle with trauma. Childhood trauma not only impacts a teacher’s ability to teach, but also threatens their students’ futures. The purpose of this qualitative study was to investigate teachers’ perceptions and actions when they participated in trauma professional development. Interviews were conducted with 5 teachers and 10 students in a Midwestern urban intermediate/middle school. By the end of the study, teachers stated that they had begun responding to disruptions in more child-centered approaches, and students noticed that their teachers began treating all students more equitably in trauma-informed manners. The implications from this study are that educating teachers on the impact of childhood trauma can change the way that teachers perceive and react to dysregulated students. Another implication is that changing teachers’ beliefs, perceptions, and attitudes can be difficult if teachers retain a deficit-thinking focus.


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