Transcript for Episode 7: Trauma-Informed Schooling During COVID-19 w/Colleen Wilkinson

Allison Sweatman & Andrea Coston

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Here’s the transcript for episode 007 of the Trauma-Informed Everything podcast:

Colleen Wilkinson is a Montessori teacher (Early Childhood), teacher educator, consultant, and Director at Montessori Country Day School in Houston, Texas. In her local school district, she serves on the Special Education Parent Advisory Committee and District Education Improvement Committee. In addition to her partnership with trauma-informed care and social justice organizations, she provides professional development and support groups for parents and educators. She is passionate about trauma-informed care, ABAR work, adoption and foster care, and disability rights.  

I’m Allison and I’m Andie and welcome to trauma informed everything.

On this podcast we examine how trauma shapes our individual family and societal experiences.

We demystify trauma and promote a world of trauma informed everything because like it or not trauma informs everything.

As always remember our disclaimer? Everything we say is for informational purposes only,

and nothing on this show is meant to replace treatment from a licensed mental health professional. Thanks for listening and enjoy the show.

Andie, what’s your favorite book about trauma?

Seriously, do you even have to ask? I mean, Allison, do you even know me? Well, what’s mine


I mean, exactly.

That’s what I thought. Okay. Okay, how about this? On the count of three? We’re both going to say our favorite trauma book.

Cool. Cool.

Yeah. Okay. All right. All right. Ready? 123 the body keeps the score. I know, right?

It took me months to finish because there was so much good stuff to absorb and learn and fly.

Yes, me too. That’s why when I recommend it to people, I tell them to take their time. It’s gonna be a lot. You know what I mean? Oh, totally.

Oh, wait, wait, wait, here’s an idea. Here’s I did hear me out.

Okay. Okay.

You ready? Pretty good.

Let’s, let’s you and I get some folks together to read a process and apply the concepts from the body keeps the score. Hey, why don’t we start in the fall.

Ooh, that sounds like a good idea. Okay, okay, but seriously, y’all, this book is thick. It’s important, and it’s key for understanding trauma in the real world. That’s why we’re choosing it for our first ever fall book clubs. Starting this September.

We’ll have regular online gatherings printables to help you process while you read journal prompts, and more. We want you to get the most out of this incredibly important piece of trauma research. So we’ll be there with you every step of the way.

To sign up, click the link in the notes for this show or go to Allison Sweatman comm slash fall book club. So Coleen, thank you so much for joining us today.

Now, thank you for having me here. I’m really glad to be here.

Absolutely. Andie and I were so excited when we found your Instagram account trauma informed Montessori so Would you do me a favor and just tell our listeners a little bit about that platform and What you’re doing on it

door so my Instagram came about a few years ago I was at one of my all time favorite educational conferences that I go to every year is the Montessori for social justice conference. And I was sitting at a table with my good friend, Britt Hawthorne. And she was like, No, really, you need to be on Instagram, you have to start an Instagram. So I took the peer pressure, started my Instagram. And I found that I really enjoyed the sense of community and being able to share what I am passionate about and also promote and share what other people are passionate about. And I really found the ability to connect with other people who were doing work sort of in the same lane as me all over the country. And and different people who are doing trauma informed practices with focuses on equity or focuses on refugee children or focuses on adoption in foster care and it’s really been wonderful to connect with all kinds of folks and doing doing this work all over the country. So I really enjoyed my, my Instagram. Mm hmm

yeah, you’re doing so many great things. I hope that right now you’ll pause the podcast and go take a scroll through Collins Instagram, because you just hit so many of the intersections of like children and trauma and usually a focus on school you know, you don’t leave that collective trauma like you are and racial trot. Like you’re just getting so many things because we can’t leave out any of that when we talk about trauma. And that’s why that’s really Andie and my vision behind the podcast is we really can have a world of trauma informed everything. And we have to think macro about that and you’re you’re clearly doing that.

Yeah, yeah, definitely. For me that emphasis on started with, with schools and sort of sort of with my own daughter and needing the school to know things that they didn’t understand because I was new to therapeutic parenting and I didn’t understand. And so as I was like learning my trust based relational intervention and implementing it in my own classroom, and then I was able to ask the schools to do it, and it really became big picture for me is like, how do we change the culture of schools to not only be trauma informed, but to to stop being places that cause trauma for children and that educational trauma piece, a huge part of which the core concept of trauma informed care that’s about being anti racist, ending the educational trauma that oppresses people of color in our schools every single day. And so that really became a big piece of My work in a really intentional focus on that.

So you kind of answered some of our first question already.

Marks I could talk about it all day.

Feeling we know that feeling. It’s our first question, what are the most important components of a trauma informed classroom in general?

Yeah. So I mean, I think the first, the first thing to consider always is is that you’re doing your own work, right. And it is to stop that educational trauma in its tracks wherever we can. And to have the the insight to be doing our own trauma work, right. A lot of adults carry with them their own childhood trauma, right? And we know that and if we carry it into the classroom, we’re impacting the children. So when you’re becoming anti racist, unpacking your biases, unpacking your own childhood trauma, unpacking your own, whatever, upbringing and listen, you know, like my, the way my parents raised me and I’m not dogging them at all, but they, they, my dad was an army guy as a military police officer, you don’t need any. So I was raised in a compliance driven household, you know, I mean, I mean, that was the expected norm. And it’s a little bit generational and it’s, but it’s on, I have to unpack that right. And like is that who I when I believe about how I want to interact with children. And from there, I think if there’s a macro piece, right, that big picture piece of that starts with the internal work of the individual and then goes into systemic. We can break down some of those systemic pieces, breaking down, what our school discipline is, like. If we’re still doing reward system, if we are disproportionately punishing students of color, and everybody’s everybody is schools data on that is available to them at through the OCR so you can OCR data, you can search your school. And it can tell you by demographic, which students in your school are descended the most restrained the most and know that that’s available to them. So it can be pretty eye opening. And then, and then so there’s bit backrow, huge macro, cute little pieces to stomach and then in the classroom. I really love the four principles the way that Alex the net put them forth is predictability, flexibility, connection and empowerment, right? Or principles of trauma informed practice that that we’re creating consistent routine environments. And I’ve said A couple times in the past few months that right now we are going to have to be the bubble of predictability for them as the routines may change, if we start school have to stop, if we start online and come in, we are going to be the predictable thing, right? And that we’re going to have to be flexible with them. As we know, you know, new routines take four to six weeks to set in. But we’re going to be changing those routines frequently, right? Even people who’ve been in school for years, it might take them a while to get you know, back into the swing of things and going to give a taste, take a lot of patience for us and then creating that connection, right the basis of all these relationships. We know research has told us that you know, relationships are the most protective factor against impact of childhood trauma. And then and then the empowerment piece that every child should walk out of our classroom feeling stronger. more resilient because of their interactions and because of their humanity being honored within our spaces. That was a really long way of answering that question. But there it all is.

Echo. We need it all.

Yeah, we need all of it. Yeah, I really like that you added in there the relationship piece because that is so key because as someone who has experienced traditional school, you know, teachers are always everybody can most everybody can look back and remember a teacher or two or three, that was in some way helpful or supportive to them. Yeah. Or life changing? Yeah.

Yeah, and these are going to be times in childhoods, because of covid. That those the imprints of that that relationship are going to be even more meaningful. And you’re right, the control and the predictability piece. I can’t tell you for my own trauma, healing for for just everything, everything. I do. I know about trauma changed when I learned about predictability and stability being like as much as I can incorporate that into my life and into my interactions, how how healing that’s going to be and how protective that’s going to be against future traumas. But because of covid predictability is so difficult to motivate, and I know that’s not that’s not all COVID doing so can you just zero in on what fall of 2020? What are the extra factors because of this pandemic, that we need to keep in mind as we go in and try to build trauma informed classrooms.

So I would say you know, as we go back in the middle of a pandemic, and in a way that so many students lives have been interrupted, I think that we’re going to need to consider how to create felt safety in a new way, in this new environment, right? Typically Keep, like, pre Corona post Corona income. I know. But like typically I would say, like have snacks available, they should be have water available all the time. You know, with social distancing, depending on what schools are doing, it’s going to be a little bit different. But again, it goes back to that honoring the humanity piece. So let’s say we’re starting online, and I’ve already seen people pop up and say stuff like, you don’t eat when you’re in small group with the teacher. Why not? They’re at their house. You know, I mean, like, to honor that, that, you know, it’s their moment. It’s a moment in time if they’re snack

on the computer with you like,

Yeah, I don’t know. It’s the Who cares? Do they need to?

Yeah, we’re already seeing that though. You’re right. Like all of those like, like those rules that are being placed in Like the rules and expectations and compliance driven, like framework of the classroom, all of that is even finding its way into remote learning. And it’s like,

Yeah, I would, I would ask teachers to question like, if anytime I’m making a policy, I want to ask myself the question, Is this necessary? How does it serve my students? And is this a grass at control? Mm hmm. Because sometimes our worst human being sometimes I fragility me, I’m grasping for control, because I have no control over a panda. Right? Am I grasping at control at the expense of my students? Well being like, Am I making rules just for the sake of rules, or is there something beneficial there?

Yeah, I think that that’s a really good distinction of two things that we’ve talked About can be made. And that’s how we can foster and cultivate stability without using rules and policies, unnecessary policies. I think a lot of times we grab for that, you know, stability doesn’t have to equal right role of the authority. So,

centralizing it and putting it back into the hands of the children and doing that co creating a community. Yeah, powerful tool.

Yeah, and creating that allowing the children to feel some control in their lives on the other end. Because, you know, this this last year, my internship was at a school, which I’ll be finishing this following year, and some of that was through the distancing learning phase and I got to witness my own children. on my end, as you know, through a social work perspective, I wasn’t social working my children, but I was sort of

a social worker, it’s really hard to

take that hat off. But my children at The children that I was observing in my internship, they were struggling with that loss of control and their schedule. How do they engage in learning at homes that may or may not be unsafe or have a different vibe and even, you know, not every home could be like my home where I had a background in education, so I knew what to do. And I watched a lot of teachers struggling with children, especially children who had IPS or Yeah, disability, trying to communicate through a computer screen it was very difficult. Yeah, so letting them develop their sense of control so they can engage in learning. It’s just another aspect to me that I think absolutely

I think it’s like trying to imagine like what if someone gave you a laptop and gave you you know, zoom or whatever platform right and said, hey, you’re a lawyer now lawyer did on their own. I would So last right like, absolutely, like here for two in the local parenthesis of we can’t assume. I mean, we have to give parents a ton of grace, they are doing their best. They weren’t. I mean, many teachers weren’t set up technology wise for this, and certainly many homes weren’t right. And, you know, there’s also a piece to that I think we need to consider that for some students. The distance learning opportunities are an escape from the trauma that’s happening at school, right? And escape from bullying. It’s an escape from a teacher who’s who’s maybe not doing great classroom discipline are using shaming methods like clip charts or point names on the board or, you know, whatever reward again, so it’s an escape from those things. It’s an escape, you know, I was reading an article the other day, it said something like 95% of children have their first experience of racism at school. How many kids were safe from those things? Because they were home. Right? So there is it is a balancing act of knowing that some children are in our homes that maybe weren’t saved or weren’t set up for like optimizing the moment. Right? Or, or like maybe don’t have enough food. That’s just reality. Right? And on the flip side of that, for some students, home was a safer place than that. So it is like that acknowledgement that it’s both things for,


different things for different children. Absolutely.

Absolutely. And I want to go back to something you said earlier, because I think it’s a concept that we we mentioned, sometimes we use other words for it, but felt safety. So can you just unpack that That a little bit for us.

Yeah. Felt safety is the kind of safety so when you come into the classroom or when a student comes into your classroom, you know that you’re the adult who’s going to keep them safe. When students move through the world they encounter adults who don’t keep them safe, right is just, unfortunately the way of the world. Right? And so they don’t always know that they’re safe. Filled safety is the knowing the explicit communication, the explicit point in a relationship where they feel and understand that they are safe in your presence. Right.


that might look like food being available, being able to get water or given water in this in this time, I’m handing water to my students. But so I’m explicit because usually In my classroom, my children would have their water bottle with them. To continue that sense of felt safety, I had to shift and pivot because now I’m handing them water so they’re not carrying around a germy water bottle. Mm hmm. In a pandemic. So now we explicitly taught how to ask for water and that you can ask any time and then I model by offering it throughout the day, you know what I mean? So we’re gonna have to be conscientious of not just, Oh, I know, they’re safer. I know, they can have water anytime but are we teaching explicitly that they’re safe, that their needs with the restroom is going to be honored, right? That they are going to have voice and choice in the classroom and that their opinions and feelings matter? Right? But aren’t they are explicitly say, when we’re there and it’s, it is very clear to them. That they and they feel it and it is all laying the foundation for a relationship that that you’re are trustworthy inconsistent adults.

Hi Friends Allison here. Our Patreon community is growing and it is so exciting. Andie and I are sharing weekly resources meditations journal prompts and even a morning show called

allien Edie in the mornin

community, anyone? If you know, you know, anyway, we would love for you to join us. We’ve got three tiers that offer you fantastic value, whatever your budget, just go to patreon.com slash trauma informed everything it felt just like the show. So it’s easy to find. You can also find a link in the show notes right in your app. I’ll see you there. The sense of felt safety for a child for a developing brain felt safety is literal threat, you know, to their life. They know instinctively that they’re dependent upon the adult in the room, you know, to to meet those needs. And so I love how you put that specifically in school terms.

Yeah. One of the things that sometimes makes it easier for people to understand is that it’s the niceties that we don’t think about consciously because they’re just ingrained in us. If I go across the country and fly on a plane, not anymore, I fly on a plane, I’m going to a conference right a few months ago, right? I go, you go into that conference, and probably several already received an email that says, here’s how the food will be served. This is when snacks and food will be available at this point, point. Point. Someone welcome us, blah, blah, blah. They’re saying all their stuff, and they’re usually pointing out the bathrooms. The bathrooms are here, here, here, here here. They’re telling us exactly here’s the agenda for the day. Those are all felt safety because you are a human who’s gone. into a new place, and they want you to feel welcome. And they want you to feel it and feel comfortable. So they’re laying out for you built into it for ourselves all the time. And it’s gonna be a touch person, right? So whether it’s the person holding the mic or like, the welcome desk, you when you go to that big conference, you’re like, Oh, I know who I’ll ask the people in red vest or the volunteers or when I’m neat. We do this for ourselves as adults, but we forget to do it for children. Mm hmm. It’s really powerful to just do it for children.

Right. I we think of that as well. We expect kids to just go along with the ride. Yeah, you know, and be the tagalongs of humanity and they have those same needs. I think we we as adults take everything you said for granted as far as being told right? The bathroom is and all that, but it’s like the kids need that too. And sometimes they needed even more. So I’m really glad you pointed that out. So you said something really, really profound to me that I think, will shift a lot of mindsets. And I want you to talk about it here. I went to your back to school, trauma informed in the time of covid seminar webinar. And you you talked about why you don’t agree with referring to your classroom as a family. And I just thought that is something that I think a lot of people think well that’s that’s good, right. You know, it signifies closeness and everything, but not for everyone and more so, so if you would tell us a little bit about that.

Yeah, absolutely. So I so understand what people are trying to do when they affectionately lovingly say, Okay, once you’re Miss Wilkinsons cage, you’re always in this Wilkinsons kid. This is our classroom family. We’re gonna treat each other like family Hear? Well, that’s because the person saying that typically speaking has a lovely understanding and relationship with family, right? with the idea of family with a concept of family with what, what sibling hood or parenthood looks like, right? And so they want to create that warm fuzzy feeling in their space. And I get it and you’re not their family. Kelly confusing for kids who have experienced trauma. Most trauma happens within the context of the relationships with family, right. So we want to be super conscientious that we are not a using language and using concepts that actually are harmful and hurtful for some students. not creating a false sense of reality because ultimately, we have those kids for housing. Long You have them. So for most of us, that’s one year right for students in school, like I’m in a Montessori school. So I spiral with my kids for three years. So, but but then after that three years, or one year or however long you have them, there’s someone else’s family now, right? It’s confusing, and I don’t I want us to reframe and rethink about what is the goal of that if the goal is to create a sense of camaraderie and closeness? Why aren’t we using the word community? Right? Why aren’t we creating communities together? and really helping our like this little micro society understand that their place and their role in their community, no matter how much I love a student, like I went to a gret I go to graduation party. I’m a kindergarten teacher. So I go to high school graduation parties. For several of my students over the last couple of years,

talks about how long I’ve been teaching but

but I’m not throwing the graduation party, right? Because just no matter how much I think, Oh man, this kid’s a great kid. They’re not my family, huh? Does not you know, and there’s something about I guess there’s a piece there about, like, let’s be honest and accurate when we’re talking to our students. And I mean, and I no one would ever accuse me of being cold towards my students. I’m like a hugger. Consent based hugger. I’m like, I love you guys. I love you all so much. I love y’all y’all are. This is the most amazing class you know, sugar. I mean, I’m from Texas. You do like though they all sugar, honey and all the cultural stuff but we, we, I don’t we can be warm and inviting and loving without And without, without creating situations that might actually be causing uncomfortable feelings for Yeah,

I was I was just gonna say by by using the word family, you’re setting an expectation. And there needs to be boundaries between the student and teacher relationship for both parties safety for the student, obviously, but also, you know, for teachers that they’re not over giving of themselves and you know, you don’t want to go come you don’t want to get yourself into a situation where a student is expecting something from a teacher that’s not realistic. And you those things can be incredibly difficult to explain to students, simply because they’re not developmentally able to understand the nuances yet.

Yeah, absolutely.

Yeah. And I think it’s important to just ask ourselves, is what we’re trying to do by using the word family? Can it be done without using the word family? And the answer is always Yes. It really is always Yes. Especially once you See the ways that that can have negative impacts?

Yeah, I mean, and there are a lot of just minor language shifts that we can do to help our students feel welcome and feel part of a community. It could be. It’s little things like not saying Go tell your mom and dad but saying, hey, go tell your adults, right? Mom and Dad, some kids don’t have a mom and a dad. I was a single mom by choice for many years. And now my daughter has two moms like you know, it is, you know, those simple language ships. And I think the piece when people bring in the idea of family is like, I really do understand that they’re trying really hard to create that. We care about each other in this room feeling and that’s important.

And we can do it without the word family.

Yeah. So on to our next question. Um, specifically For the parents, trauma informed communication with kids about going back to school, how do we talk to our kids about entering back into school? Now we know you’ve been in school, but even as you’re in school, how do parents discuss going back or discuss not going back? How can we in a very healthy manner, help them process as as we’re processing?

Right? I think a couple things is one to really take into account where your child is developmentally. And can I always want to be honest with children at a developmentally appropriate level? Right. So I think it’s okay to say people are concerned, right, or we’re not sure yet. I mean, the power of I don’t know is as soon as we we know, we’re gonna let you know. It’s still summertime. We’re still thinking about summertime right now. All right.

Let’s think about summer things.

I think that also like just saying, like, if you choose not to go back, being honest and saying, this is the best choice, we’re trying to make the safest choice for our family right now. I understand if it’s not one that you like, it’s not what I wish was happening either. But we’re going to make a choice to be safe and be together. If you are going back you might say things like, your teachers are going to do everything they can to help you stay safe. We’re going to practice at home, anything that you need help with. And we are making the choice that we feel is the right one for our family and we trust that you’re going to be safe,


Even if this might be one of those moments where even if you don’t feel the level of confidence that you hope you would it might be the time to project it. This is that fake it till you make it. That’s what I was joking.

I feel so confident in this decision through gritted teeth, right?

It is that moment and different levels of children are going to, you know, different ages of children are going to have different ability to hear you say like, Yeah, um, this is what we’re going to do now. And it might change. And we are we’re not sure yet. And I think it’s important for us as parents to note that when things change as things change, which is assuming at this point that there’s going to be school interruptions or

fluctuations, right. Many of us are assuming that Yeah,

I don’t know. So long for sure that we don’t know right. But if we can, we if we can assume that the thing that is going to happen is that there might be changed to the plan, because the plan has changed from June to now. ago yesterday, so today, the Instead of trying to put a pin in it, especially for older students, we could say, we are going to continue continue to evaluate and make the best decision at any given moment that we can with your safety in mind. And being able to say that we’ve we’ve got a handle on this and letting them feel heard if they need to express their concern. It can be a really valuable tool, but making sure that we are not projecting anxieties that are really like adult CERN’s on to them, right because they have enough to hold and that and that knowing that really the basis of all of that is your connected relationship. Right. So you their ability to trust us as the parents that are going to make good decisions for them is based typically on all these other times my parents made really great decisions for me and kept me safe and that my parents loved me. I can’t, if I can’t say right now with certainty what’s going to happen, what I can do is have a movie night, cultivate closeness, cultivate family, night puzzle, whatever, whatever backyard, stay at home thing you’re doing right? closeness and build relationship. And if we focus on, on close connected relationships with our children, then we’re already setting them on the path for resilience. And we’re setting them up to have that built in trust with us. And

that’s excellent. That is, I mean, just to focus on

it’s so big, and I think that it’s a good reminder even for myself not to be projecting my nervousness onto my kids, that those conversations need to stay in private because kids it even my two and a half year old will pick up on my stress levels. Yeah. And so remembering that our kids are little sponges They can sense even when our 10th when we are tense, so choosing to have joy in the moments where we’re frustrated, or we don’t know, processing with other adults, instead of processing with our children.

And knowing that right now, if they’re having if they start, especially as it gets closer and closer to time for school to start, whether that’s online or in person or things change, that their behavior is going to manifest their feelings. So if they’re having behavioral bumps in the road, recognizing those for, like, the stressors that they’re actually indicators of, you know, and part of part of this is because we’re under stress, too, right? So we’re all a little stressed out maybe.

And so then we’re inclined to be a little less patient with our own children, but They are also stressed out. So that balancing act of putting our own oxygen mask on so that we can then help them self regulate and co regulate with them through our stress and through their stress because I’ve one of the things I’ve talked the most with about teachers is anticipating and this is true for parents too, is anticipating more behavior. Mm hmm. than typical because of high stress level multiple changes. Lack of routines. Mm hmm. Yeah, we can just expect behaviors not going to be anyone’s strength right now. Yeah. Or if it is and they’re overly compliant, that’s also a red flag.

Also something to investigate perhaps, right.

Yeah, it’s, that’s a good you know, changing the expectation can change how we interact as, as adults. I mean, even in my own within my own self changing that expectation. have, you know like waking up in the morning and being able to read my kids and automatically I can go, oh, we’re gonna have a great day or holy buckets to change the plan. So, so on that note talking about expectations for teachers, how can how can we encourage teachers as they go into the school year? Do you have a word for them on you know, how can they manage their expectations, as they’re probably going to be fluctuating between distance learning and in person learning and juggling so much?

Yeah, I think the most important thing teachers can do right now is take care of themselves. And that might look like setting good boundaries deciding to not be on that one more committee this year deciding not to run for also PTA or, I mean, don’t we love PTA. We need to appreciate but also honor your boundaries in this moment, right? Except the sense of self care standard, whether that’s turning off your email notifications after 5pm or after your workdays over and say not answering them to the next day really take care of yourself. Now, that includes managing our own anxiety and if that includes therapy medication, we want to reduce that stigma around taking care of your mental health. If not, if no other time, it’s a pandemic, you’re allowed to have me all the time all the time, but specifically now for sure. Please don’t feel any stigma around needing to get support to take care of your mental health. You we can’t bring our best selves to the classroom if we’re not taking care of ourselves and we aren’t the students need us and the families need us and our own families. And students. Yeah, you you matter and I think that sometimes as, as teachers, and I imagine social workers for the same way it’s giving profession right it’s eventually pour into others market to take care of ourselves. So please, teachers honor your your self and honor your and in doing that you really are doing the most for students. And I yeah,

I think this year of all years these, I you know, the combined two school years, the one we came out of and the one we’re going into, it has become incredibly clear how much teachers give, how much they care how much they serve our communities and give of themselves and I might the teachers I personally interacted with, I mean, I was on the phone with As they whacked me, just concerned for their families and their students, missing them, and I experienced this too because I was in I was interning at the school. I miss my kids and how Yeah, it’s just, it has just become so clear to this, this nation how important teachers are. So,

yeah, as I was mentioning, I spiral with my students for three years. So some of them are graduating out of my class and they were literally on their third year with me I’ve watched them from from three years old to six years old, becoming like their fully little early childhood self all the way all the way to their like elementary self and to not get those last few months with them. Absolutely like, just like in my room with little tears and but I missed them. You know, And then you know I kept thinking well maybe later this summer we’ll be able to get to have a get together maybe and that was the same thing for a while until Yeah, it was

our kindergarten graduation in like in between the shutdown opening back up and then now we’re shut back down

yeah we made a video graduation I mean on my yeah so it is really it teachers we just we truly do love the communities we serve only truly love the children and sometimes and I think maybe there’s a piece of this that you could dive into into a whole nother podcast about like the feminist aspect of this way that women put themselves last in their work and that that’s expected of us and and that then it’s not honored and all that peace but there’s like it we’re so acculturated to like give give, give put yourself laugh. I think that manifests in our work as teacher.

Yeah, you can ask Andie I’m kind of on a kick right now about kind of about, well I In a word, capitalism and how, how, how we have built an economic system that doesn’t value feminine types of work. And I don’t say that just to mean women, I just mean, and like just any type of work that is deemed feminine or like seen in that way. You don’t even have to give it that label. We don’t put economic value on it. And I hope that this pandemic is because the vast majority of teachers are women. I hope this pandemic is giving us a little bit of a shift because I’ve seen a lot more people speak up, at least about the the pay increase that is in order for teachers in our country. It’s it’s just been It’s nothing, no perspective.

If nothing else, a huge waste. Getting to this idea that, that capitalism isn’t working for everybody and is built on the backs of oppressed people, people of color, people, women and other marginalized folks who are not being respected within the system. It’s just not working for us. So we gotta just like everybody having just collected like, huh, yeah, I’m working out

losing their jobs because we don’t have a system built into our society for childcare.

right yep, that’s another thing. Yeah. I it’s so many things are crumbling, and I hate that this is this is like the blessing and the curse of being a social worker is because you’re so happy that things that you studied and have seen are being seen by a lot of people but it takes so much pain being valuable for that to become part of the collective conscience. You know? So I want to before we close out, have you tell everyone about what you do. In addition to your Instagram account, I know that you have some other offers and different things that you do that pop up there. So please share that with us.

So I first of all, I have a Patreon account where I’m posting constantly like Wait, what research I’m reading, I really like peer reviewed studies. So I’m usually find a good one and we’ll post it almost every week. I share what professional development I’m taking. And then I get on blogging rants about, you know, adult safety or whatever. And so, my Patreon is, you know, patreon.com slash Coleen Wilkinson. So you can join us there we’re creating a little community of trauma informed folks who are trying to do this work intentionally. in their communities. And then I also teach some credit graduate credit courses for Dominican University along with my good friend Addison Dwayne on who’s on and who I met on Instagram, right. So,

so fun

way to meet people.

And we co teach some classes for Dominican University of California, for teachers who need graduate credits to stay up in the pay scale and all that kind of good stuff. It’s four individual courses, they’re one credit each, they’re self paced, you can start anytime. And so that is I really enjoy that work as well. And then I do professional development all over the United States. With different schools right now mostly online. They all travel again, we do everything from one hour to two day workshops, so that you can really get an in depth Understanding of trauma informed classrooms and how that you can bring that into your school and start the process of becoming a trauma informed teacher. And that’s working towards a trauma informed system. And so those are some of the things I also helped write a book about trauma informed practices, called Montessori inclusion, edited by Anne Epstein. And it has a lot of different it’s really like 12 chapters on different topics of about inclusion, the importance of inclusion. And so everybody kind of has a different Hey, in my chapter on trauma is in there and how to do inclusive manner and in school.

Fantastic, so many places for people to connect with you. I’m really excited to offer this. So Colleen, I just want to thank you so much for everything you’re doing. And thank you for joining us here today. And I guess we’ll see you on Instagram.


Well, thank you for having me. I appreciate it. And I really enjoyed our conversation. So

that’s our show for today. If you enjoyed the show, please take a moment to rate and review it on your podcast platform.

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Thanks for joining us and remember trauma informed everything and we really do mean everything

Transcribed by https://otter.ai