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 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?

Episode 027: Trauma-Informed Teaching

Trauma-Informed Teaching has become more and more of an important topic in our professional development in recent years. In this episode, I visit with Kristin Atchley about how trauma is impacting our students and ways teachers and schools can support families.

Kristin Atchley is the Executive Director of Counseling for the Oklahoma State Department of Education. She has been a school counselor and a student advocate for Moore and Norman Public Schools. Kristin has brought in a wave of trauma-informed practices throughout our state. She trains school personnel at all levels and planned/organized the first Trauma Summit in 2018. If you don’t already follow her on Twitter, I would strongly recommend it – @KristinAtchley.

Below are resources mentioned in the episode:

Below are the questions I prepared to ask Kristin:

  1. Tell us who you are and what you do.
  2. How do you describe Trauma Informed Practice to the novice?
  3. Why is it important for schools to be Trauma Informed?
  4. What do teachers need to know about trauma?
  5. What are ACEs?
  6. What behaviors are prevalent in children who have a high ACE score?
  7. How does trauma impact brain development?
  8. What strategies/classroom practices need to be in place to help students develop their prefrontal cortex and lower students’ stress levels in the classroom?
  9. What is the importance of relationships in Trauma Informed Classrooms? How do teachers develop connections with their students?
  10. What makes a student or family resilient? How can schools help to develop resiliency in students and families?
  11. What are wrap around services? How can they benefit families with high-trauma?
  12. What professional development opportunities do teachers need surrounding trauma?
  13. What is fight, flight, and freeze? What does each look like?
  14. 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?
  15. What are your go-to resources to share with teachers/principals?

This episode was recorded at and mastered by Design Tunnel in downtown OKC.