New training provides introductions to restorative, trauma-informed practices

Education Minnesota is now offering two new professional development trainings, based on last year’s Educator Policy Innovation Center report on trauma-sensitive, restorative practices.

“Introduction to Restorative Practices” and “Introduction to Trauma-Informed Practices” are now both part of the Education Minnesota Professional Training for Educators offerings. 

“There is an alarming trend of the uses of exclusion practices, which leads to students’ aggression both verbal and physical, students experiencing trauma and students mastering the art of breaking relationships and lacking the skills to repair them,” said Gwen Johnson, an occupational therapist in the Northeast Metro 916 School District, who served on the team that created the EPIC report and helped develop this training. “However, I have seen the positive impact when a child is taught in a safe, nurturing and inclusive environment, when educators take the time to discover the function of students’ behavior, and when children develop skills to repair relationships.”

The restorative practices training will teach participants about the history and seven guiding principles of restorative practices. Participants will have the opportunity to take part in a circle process and reflect on the benefits of restorative practices in learning communities. Participants will also be given time to reflect on their own classroom, site and district’s capacity to adopt restorative practices.

The trauma-informed practices training will look at the Minnesota Adverse Childhood Experience (ACEs) study and how toxic stress alters students’ brains and its impact on learning. 

“People will learn how we got here, what is toxic stress, how trauma and toxic stress change brain development and students’ education performance, and how using trauma sensitive-restorative justice practices shifts exclusion to inclusion,” said Johnson.

The 60-minute trainings can be done separately, or together as a two-hour block. If you are interested in the trainings, please contact your local field staff.