Episode 031: Systems of Care and the Power of Hope

For this episode of Passing Notes, I met with Casey Gwinn and Dr. Rick Cobb. Casey Gwinn is an attorney who led the nation in the creating the concept for Family Justice Centers. He is the current president of the Alliance of Hope, developed the model for Camp HOPE, and is the recent co-author of the book Hope Rising. Dr. Rick Cobb is the superintendent of Mid-Del Public Schools and is working to shift they dynamics within the school district and the larger community to support families through a trauma-informed lens.

On January 7, 2019, Dr. Cobb and his leadership team brought Casey Gwinn to speak to the entire district in the morning and community members in the afternoon. Dr. Cobb invited me to join the afternoon session and I wasn’t prepared for such an incredible afternoon of learning. Very thankful that both took them time to visit with me afterwards for this interview!

Below are the questions I prepared for the interview:

  • Introduce yourself
  • What work do you and the Alliance for Hope International do?
  • Why is being trauma-informed an important community-wide endeavor?
  • What role does hope play in trauma-informed care?
  • What resources exist for teachers, principals? Communities?
  • What is happening today in your district?
  • What do you hope to accomplish with this work?
  • Where did the idea start? What preparation took place? What data was collected?
  • Why do you believe that this work is important for your district?
  • How has trauma impacted your district? Individual schools?
  • What strategies have you put in place throughout the district to ensure that trauma-informed care is taking place in individual classrooms?
  • In what other ways do you plan to include the community on your work focused around trauma?
  • What would happen to the overall mission of our work if ACEs were radically reduced in the population as a whole? What does a low-ACEs culture look like?
  • Resources that have impacted the work that you are doing in the Mid-Del District?

Episode 030: Legislative Update 3

For the third legislative update of Passing Notes, Todd Gragg joined the conversation. Todd is an AP History and Economics teacher in Mid-Del Public Schools. In this episode we talk about the teacher shortage, funding, classroom sizes, and what it means to be a top 10 state in education. You can find Todd on Twitter @MrGragg or on his blog: Mr. Gragg.

Episode 029: Compassion Fatigue

What is Compassion Fatigue? Secondary Trauma? How does burnout effect my classroom practice? Can a teacher get Post Traumatic Stress Disorder from experiences in the classroom? This growing area of research focused on how the stress of classroom experiences, learning about the trauma of students, and the demands of current mandates and expectations can have an impact on a teacher’s well-being. How do professionals counter the day-to-day and keep coming back? What resources are available to school employees as they work to support their students and families?

Dr. Elliott is a part time school counselor and a part time provider of professional development surrounding trauma-informed practices and compassion fatigue in the Oklahoma City Public School District. Dr. Elliott helps teachers and school professionals to reflect on their experiences and identify what they need to provide quality education and care to the students that they serve.

Below are the questions I prepared to ask Dr. Elliott:

  1. Tell us who you are and what you do?
  2. What is compassion fatigue?
  3. How is compassion fatigue different from burnout or secondary trauma or PTSD?
  4. Why is it important for teachers/principals to identify when they are experience compassion fatigue?
  5. What role does trauma play in teacher’s experiencing compassion fatigue?
  6. How can compassion fatigue effect classroom teaching?
  7. What do you recommend teachers do when they are experiencing compassion fatigue? Burnout? Secondary trauma? PTSD?
  8. How can teachers/principals identify compassion fatigue? Burnout? Secondary trauma? PTSD?
  9. How can leaders support teachers struggling through compassion fatigue? Burnout? Secondary trauma? PTSD?
  10. What are your go-to resources?