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Hope Predictor of Success for Children Dealing With Trauma, Teacher Says

Hope Predictor of Success for Children Dealing with Trauma, Teacher Says

Jessica Lahey's experience as an English teacher has led her to believe that hope is the biggest predictor of success for students dealing with adverse and traumatic childhood experiences, and believes instilling hope in children will best help them to succeed.

"While all children differ in their ability to rebound from adversity, and some may be more effectively 'wired for hope' than others, positive relationships with adults appear to be the most important source of hope for children at risk for poor educational outcomes,"she said.

Though parents provide the first positive adult relationship children can have, equally important in a child's life is his or her relationship with his or her teacher.

"[A]dult influence in a child’s life, positive, supportive student-teacher relationships are essential to children’s success, particularly for kids at risk for poor educational outcomes."

As more and more experts favor the "whole child approach" to learning, the discussion of the important role of teachers as mentors is a hot topic in promoting the well-being of students. The whole child approach, specifically, is an approach where school systems not only focus on academic skills but also the social and emotional development and mental health of its students.

According to Lahey, one of the most important things teachers can do as mentors is let their students know they believe in their capabilities to learn and grow.

"Self-efficacy, or the belief in one’s ability to perform acts that will lead to achieve a goal, is essential for both the student and the teacher. Once teachers believe that every kid is capable of achievement, they must also believe that they have the ability to help make that happen," she said. She believes that all teachers' should hold high regard and expectation for their students.

For children overcoming the "virulent effects of poverty, addiction, and childhood trauma," positive adult influence and the hope that they can still succeed in education is the number one priority for guaranteeing their future.

Read the full article here and comment below.

Article by Nicole Gorman, Education World Contributor

06/12/2015

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