Dr. Lori Desautels visited LaPorte High School on October 8th to educate LaPorte Community School Corporation staff about trauma informed learning during the first scheduled eLearning day.
The eLearning day afforded LPCSC time to invite Desautels who is an assistant professor for both graduate and undergraduate levels at Butler University. Desautels has also authored and co-authored books on trauma informed learning, which is an important movement in the educational realm.
With LPCSC actively moving towards being more intentional around social-emotional learning, this professional development was a logical next step. Studies have shown trauma affects students emotionally and neurobiologically, and educators need to understand ways to help students deal with their trauma for personal and educational reasons. According to Sarah Fine, corporation SEL Director, Desautels was specifically chosen because she is a primary resource for the development of Indiana Department of Education SEL initiative.
The day started in the Performing Arts Center with Desautels giving a two hour presentation for all staff. Teachers then reported back to their respective schools for a deeper dive into the concept, which was led by building counselors. Building principals met at the Educational Services Center for a continued conversation with Desautels.
Many teachers found the inservice profoundly informational and impactful. According to Mrs. Lute-Brown, English teacher at LPHS, this will help in the future by helping teachers understand the brain and heart connection in students who have experienced trauma in their lives.
“Get to know their story: It will break your heart a part and shift your thinking towards healing,” Lute-Brown said.
Many principals found the in-service to be beneficial and necessary for understanding what everyone is going through. They are eager to bring the work back to their buildings.
“My hope is that teachers heard the information that Dr. Desautels shared will help all of us to look at everyone through a different lens. A lens that is empathetic and caring. That would be a win for everyone if we all felt safe and heard,” Mrs. Schable, Lincoln Elementary School principal, said.