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Nicole Reddig

Supporting Teacher Retention Through a Trauma-Informed Lens

Nicole Reddig ’22

Faculty Mentor(s):
Janet VanLone, Education
Funding Source:
Walthour Undergraduate Research Fund

This poster explores the relationship between trauma-informed practices and teacher burnout and retention. Trauma-informed practices recognize the traumas that students may bring into the classroom and their influence on students’ behavior, social and emotional health, and ability to learn. By utilizing trauma-informed practices, teachers can help children who have experienced trauma build resiliency and overcome their experiences. While teachers play an important role in the support system of these students, they are also at risk for experiencing secondary trauma and burnout. For the past decade, schools across the United States have seen high levels of burnout and turnover amongst their educators. This poster discusses two studies of trauma-informed practices in education: (1) A systematic review finding that few states require pre-service teachers to be trained in trauma-informed practices and, (2) a mixed-methods study of the effect of a grant program in Pennsylvania funding trauma-informed practices on teacher burnout and turnover. The results indicate that teachers in Pennsylvania are experiencing burnout, particularly emotional exhaustion, but that there were no differences in burnout levels or intended turnover between teachers who taught in schools with the grant for trauma-informed practices and those that did not. Implications for further policy are discussed, including suggestions for implementing tiered whole-school models of trauma-informed practices to support both students who have experienced trauma and the teachers that work with them.

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