Dr. Mary Crnobori is the trauma-informed coordinator for Metro Nashville Public Schools and she is doing incredibly important work to raise awareness about trauma-informed practices and adverse childhood experiences (ACEs).

Common ACEs are violence in the home, divorce, a parent with mental illness or substance abuse problems, abuse or neglect, or a parent who is incarcerated. Not to mention the skyrocketing rate of childhood poverty in Nashville. While poverty rates have gone down citywide, as of 2016, childhood poverty is currently above 60 percent in 4 council districts

When I told someone I was doing this episode, he said “Isn’t aces just kind of a buzz word at this point? Don’t we already know this stuff?

I thought that was really interesting point, and I think that he’s probably not the only one who has this misconception. What we commonly hear about ACEs is that a high ace score is correlated with poor educational outcomes, behavior issues, and even health problems. 

The part of the conversation that I feel like is often left out is that there are concrete actions that we can take to mitigate the effect of ACEs. Edutopia recently did a series on how Fall-Hamilton Elementary, MNPS’s trauma-informed pilot school, is doing this important work. 

I hope after listening to this episode, you will know more about what trauma informed schools look like, the importance of building relationships, and how we should support educators in this work. 

Further Reading:

The Deepest Well by Dr. Nadine Burke-Harris

ACEs Connection

Treating Childhood Trauma – 60 Minutes segment with Oprah Winfrey

What do you say when a student asks, “Did you vote for Donald Trump?”

In this episode, we discuss how to respond to difficult questions, how to get students to engage in civil discourse in these turbulent political times, and what happened when Tarana Burke, the founder of the #metoo movement, led Hume-Fogg students in a walkout to protest gun violence.

Amanda Smithfield is a librarian at Hume-Fogg Magnet High School, and in her words, she is the “proudest Democrat ever to sponsor the high school Republicans.” In addition to starting clubs for both the high school Republicans and the high school Democrats, Amanda has started a movement called ProjectCivAmerica, where she hosts monthly bipartisan discussions on topics such as gun control and net neutrality. Amanda provides resources for anyone who wants to host their own ProjectCiv discussions.

Holly Korbey is my special guest cohost this week. Holly is an education journalist who is passionate about closing the research to practice gap. She has written groundbreaking pieces about dyslexia and social and emotional learning, to name a few. Currently, Holly is working on a book titled, How to Raise a Citizen, to be released in 2019. Sign up for Holly’s civics education newsletter to learn more about raising citizens in today’s political climate.