School of Behavioral Sciences
Doctor of Education in Community Care and Counseling (EdD)
Robert G. Pincus
early childhood educators, child trauma, social-emotional needs, trauma-affected students
Haynes, Cheryl R., "Teaching Trauma-Affected Students: A Qualitative Investigation of Teacher Perceptions" (2023). Doctoral Dissertations and Projects. 4269.
Trauma-affected children in early grades provide unique challenges for classroom teachers. To better understand these challenges, this study examined the experiences of 12 PreK to first-grade Northwest Georgia educators as they support trauma-affected students. Data collection came from semi-structured interviews, memoing, and member checking. Reasons for supporting trauma-affected students discussed in this study include aggressive behaviors in the classroom setting, volatility of home culture, social-emotional needs, and the impact of Covid-19 quarantines. Challenges facing teachers included a lack of knowledge about child trauma, the lack of training on working with trauma-affected students in teacher preparation programs, and the need for practical interventions to engage these students. These findings indicate the need for training in trauma at the district and collegiate levels, along with peer mentorship and collaboration among current teachers.