Introduction and Framework

Trauma-informed and compassionate practice supports all BC students. Learn about the Compassionate Learning Communities Framework, and how the core competencies of communication, thinking and personal and social responsibility in the curriculum are directly tied to the principles of trauma-informed practice.

Long-time educator Deborah Koehn has integrated nine of the components adapted from the Compassionate Learning Community Assessment Rubric (Puget Sound Educational Services District) including understanding trauma, safety and wellbeing, partnerships with the components of BC’s new curriculum.

Why a trauma-informed practice matters

Trauma-informed practice is a compassionate lens of understanding that is helpful to all children, youth and adults, especially those who have experienced traumatic events and early hardships. The main components of this lens are rooted in the understanding that all behaviour and actions happen for a reason and it is up to each of us, in our helping capacity, to acknowledge current coping strategies and to assist children, youth and adults through supportive relationships and creative opportunities.

Trauma-informed practice involves the long-term work of transforming schools into compassionate learning communities. Trauma-informed is not about doing more in the classroom and community but rather, about doing things differently.

Compassionate Learning Communities:
Supporting Trauma-Informed Practice

How to Use the Resources

The resources include four workshop packages, intended to support schools and districts to affirm their current trauma-informed practice and further develop compassionate learning communities that operate within a trauma-informed practice.

These workshops are intended for anyone who wishes to host professional development sessions for staff, or awareness sessions with other groups, or for individuals to view on their own. The workshop packages are flexible and customizable. They can be used as individual workshops or as a whole professional development suite. School staff, parents/caregivers, and educators can also download brief tip sheets. The resources are to be used in whatever way they are needed.

Compassionate Learning Community
Workshop Packages

There is a workshop for each element in the Compassionate Learning Communities Framework.

Resources on this site include Creating Compassionate Learning Communities, a suite of four downloadable workshop packages and a brief video introducing speakers included in the presentations.

Each workshop package includes:

  1. Slide Presentation (password protected; click ‘Read Only’ to open)
  2. Facilitator’s Guide
  3. Participant Handout (including slide deck thumbnails and space for note-taking)
  4. Tip Sheet

Click the colour coded buttons to explore each workshop package.

Trauma-Informed Practice Training Session Presenters

Understanding Workshop Presentation

Understanding the Effects of Early Adverse Events: Coping anyway I can
Supportive School Climate: Listen, see and understand me
Positive Boundaries: What I can control and what I cannot… yet

This workshop focuses on understanding through accessible, foundation information on the potential impact of early adverse events including interpersonal neurobiology. The links to affect regulation, learning and social engagement will also be featured in order for educators to intervene and support children effectively. The need for flexibility in accommodating students in compassionate learning environments through understanding of students’ specific environments and contexts will be emphasized. Local knowledge is incorporated in the broader understanding of the effects of adversity on child development and possible interventions.

Relationship Workshop Presentation

Safety/Assurance of Wellbeing: Am I safe and do I feel safe here?
Social-Emotional Skills: Be my friend
Educator and Staff Wellness: My heart is in the right place but…

This workshop presentation focuses on the importance of relationship in motivating, developing and sustaining students’ engagement in learning, no matter what the adversity is or has been. Relationship is a foundational element to the Framework. In order to form and then maintain supportive relationships and help co-regulate students from adversity who may be struggling with regulation, educator and staff wellness becomes an essential component to the framework. Within this Framework, ideas for increasing well-being for students and educators in sustaining practice are included as components to trauma-informed practice.

Connection Workshop Presentation

Cultural Safety and Relevance: How I see and understand the world
Community Partnerships: We cannot do this alone
Family Partnerships: Parents/Caregivers matter

The need for connection is another element of the Framework, with schools and educators supported in finding ways to engage with families in meaningful ways through knowledge and resource sharing. This workshop presentation highlights that local resources found through community connection are required to broaden the positive experiences of students who have experienced adverse events. Educators’ facilitation of community-based mentorships often brings positive, life-altering implications for students. Cultural connection through family and community involvement with schools is of critical importance in working with a trauma-informed lens, emphasizing identity and the power of healing found in various worldviews. (Note that when talking about family, children and youth in care may refer to “family privilege” perpetuated by those who don’t share or understand their precarious or absent family experience.) The connection between educators and districts through interactive trauma-informed resource sharing increases understanding and capacity in supporting students who have experienced adverse events.

Capacity Workshop Presentation

Personal Agency, Competence: Let me show you what I can do
Emotion (Affect)/ Behaviour Regulation: Help me name what I feel
Integrating Trauma-Informed Practice with the New Curriculum: This lens fits

This presentation on increasing capacity envisions a strength-based approach. Behaviours are reframed into understanding coping, providing educators with the opportunity to help students develop alternative coping to increase safety so students can learn. The element of capacity guides the compilation of resources intended to help educators better support students who experience adverse events, and in supporting these students, educators may better support all students.