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Digital Seminar

Trauma-Informed Compassionate Classrooms

Sarah Kirk, PhD
Approx. 6 Hours
Mar 01, 2024
Product Code:
Media Type:
Digital Seminar - Also available: In-Person Seminar  2 | Live Webcast

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As an educator, you are faced with the challenge of meeting the social and emotional needs of ALL your students.

This can be challenging enough with typical learners, not to mention those who have experienced trauma or mental health challenges. These kids may present with outwardly aggressive and irritable behaviors which requires more of your time and attention.

Despite the amount of time you invest in behavior charts or incentives for good behavior, traditional behavioral approaches to classroom management and a punitive approach to discipline simply are not effective.

Watch Dr. Sarah Kirk and learn how a trauma-informed approach will greatly reduce challenging behavior, improve student engagement and increase learning outcomes. Leave this training with new strategies, tools and resources to reduce students’ impulsiveness, aggressive behaviors and inattention and increase their focus, attention and compassion. While this positive approach is absolutely essential for students with trauma, it will also greatly benefit each and every student in your classroom. Return to your school with:

  • Research-based practices to establish a trauma-informed classroom
  • A plan to develop positive relationships and build trust with your hard-to-reach students
  • Proven techniques for communicating more effectively and collaboratively with challenging students
  • Cognitive skill-building strategies which incorporate the science of neuroplasticity and the strengths-based perspective of neurodiversity


CE Information Coming Soon

Continuing education credit information is coming soon for this non-interactive self-study package.

CEs may be available for select professions, as listed in the target audience. Hours will be dependent on the actual recording time. Please check with your state licensing board or organization for specific requirements. 

There may be an additional fee for CE certificates. Please contact our Customer Service at 1-800-844-8260 for more details. 

**Materials that are included in this course may include interventions and modalities that are beyond the authorized practice of mental health professionals. As a licensed professional, you are responsible for reviewing the scope of practice, including activities that are defined in law as beyond the boundaries of practice in accordance with and in compliance with your professions standards.


Sarah Kirk, PhD's Profile

Sarah Kirk, PhD Related seminars and products

Dr. Sarah Kirk, is a national board-certified counselor and the owner and CEO of Yoga 4 Classrooms. Sarah provides training and consultation on a variety of topics, including comprehensive school counseling, trauma-informed practices, tiered supports for students, and mindfulness in schools. She has presented at local and national conferences across the United States. Previously, she was the school counselor specialist at the Oklahoma State Department of Education for three years, where she created an ASCA-aligned statewide comprehensive school counseling framework. She was a school counselor specialist at the Oklahoma State Department of Education for three years, where she created an ASCA-aligned statewide comprehensive school counseling framework. She was a school counselor and school counseling leader for over a decade. Sarah served on the Board of Directors for ASCA until 2022. In 2019, her school counseling program became a Recognized ASCA Model Program (RAMP). Sarah was Oklahoma’s 2018 School Counselor of the Year and a 2019 National School Counselor of the Year finalist. Sarah is an advocate for the professional and is passionate about equity and access to whole-child support for all students.


Speaker Disclosures:
Financial: Sarah Kirk Stephens is the owner and CEO of Yoga 4 Classrooms, LLC. She receives a speaking honorarium from PESI, Inc. She has no relevant financial relationships with ineligible organizations.
Non-financial: Sarah Kirk Stephens is a member of the American School Counselor Association and the Oklahoma School Counseling Association.


Additional Info

Access for Self-Study (Non-Interactive)

Access never expires for this product.


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  1. Analyze the ways in which poverty and mental health contribute to trauma responses thus informing your approach to working with all students.
  2. Determine how trauma impacts a child’s development and develop strategies for meeting his or her needs.
  3. Explore how exposure to adverse childhood experiences (ACEs) determines the likelihood of developmental trauma and its impact on level of functioning across the lifespan.
  4. Establish a collaborative approach to discipline and demonstrate how this fosters intrinsic motivation for behavior change in the child.
  5. Practice techniques to establish positive relationships and build trust with hard-to-reach students thus increasing their social and academic success.
  6. Explore mindfulness activities that foster student self-awareness, self-regulation and the ability to focus as it relates to impulsive behaviors and attention.


Trauma in Students: What to Look For

  • Fight, flight or freeze responses: How it manifests in school
  • Wired for fear: Impact on the whole child
  • ACEs – Adverse Childhood Experiences study and survey
  • The role of poverty and mental health challenges

Trauma Therapy

  • Benefits
  • Limitations of the Research
  • Potential Risks

Discipline in a Trauma-Informed Classroom

  • Changing your mindset: Punitive vs. collaborative
  • Strategies to foster intrinsic motivation
  • 3 steps to implement a collaborative approach
  • Case study: How you respond

Neuroplasticity: Activities to Establish & Strengthen Neural Pathways

  • Strategies to develop new ways of responding
    • Slow down, stop and think
    • Respond rather than react
    • Social stories
  • Techniques to incorporate the 4 R’s:
    • Rhythmic
    • Repetitive
    • Relational
    • Rewarding

Relationships as a Protective Factor

  • Techniques to form positive relationships and increase students’ likeliness to:
    • Stay in school longer
    • Work harder
    • Increase test scores & grades
    • Increase their self-confidence
  • Techniques to help students feel connected to school making them less likely to:
    • Smoke or drink
    • Have sexual intercourse
    • Develop emotional problems
    • Experience suicidal thoughts or attempts
    • Carry weapons
    • Be involved in violence or dangerous activities
  • Case study: Strengths-based, solution-focused approach

Mindfulness and Self-Awareness Activities To:

  • Help with transitions
  • Reduce impulsive behaviors
  • Strengthen empathy, kindness and compassion
  • Calm and focus attention

Social and Emotional Learning Techniques to Increase:

  • Focus and concentration
  • Impulse control
  • Conflict resolution skills

Mindful Communication Tools to Improve Student Engagement

  • Lead with presence
  • Attention
  • Intention

Mindful Strategies to Increase Connection, Empathy & Community

  • Gratitude
  • Heartfulness

Zones of Regulation to Teach Self-Awareness & Emotional Control

  • Red zone
  • Yellow zone
  • Green zone
  • Blue zone

Target Audience

  • General Educators
  • Special Educators
  • School Administrators
  • School Psychologists
  • Social Workers
  • Guidance Counselors
  • School Nurses
  • Directors of Special Education
  • Paraprofessionals
  • Speech-Language Pathologists
  • Occupational Therapists


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Your satisfaction is our goal and our guarantee. Concerns should be addressed to: PO Box 1000, Eau Claire, WI 54702-1000 or call 1-800-844-8260.

ADA Needs
We would be happy to accommodate your ADA needs; please call our Customer Service Department for more information at 1-800-844-8260.

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