Appendix D

Trauma-Informed Tri-Phasic Model Dispositions

Disposition 1: Trauma-informed educators create environments that promote the neural integration of their members (students and educators) in order to maximize students’ academic and social success at each developmental stage.

Disposition 2: Trauma-informed educators commit to learning the knowledge, skills, and dispositions required to implement trauma-informed practices according to their role and context in order to promote safe and effective learning communities.

Disposition 3: Trauma-informed educators are committed to embedding trauma-informed rituals and practices within the daily, weekly, and seasonal routines of a school and classroom, providing a sense of repetition that deepens internal safety and stabilization. Repetition also emphasizes that basic TISP building blocks are continual and constant, not merely a phase that is completed in order to move to the next phase.

Disposition 4: Trauma-informed educators are aware of socio-cultural factors that increase student risk or resilience, and they are committed to creating an educational environment that is welcoming, safe, and inclusive of all persons.

Disposition 5: Trauma-informed educators are committed to a consistent ethic of care whereby the relational values offered to students are extended to self and one another.

Disposition 6: Trauma-informed educators understand the primacy of attachment theory, and its emphasis on attunement, to the neural development of students and adults throughout the lifespan.

Disposition 7: Trauma-informed educators are committed to attending to Person of the Educator wellness practices in recognition of their vulnerability to secondary trauma. This includes a commitment to understanding their own relational and developmental history influencing their own neural integration, foundational to strengthening resilience and well-being.

Disposition 8: Trauma-informed educators recognize that the success of trauma-informed practices requires involvement and support from all levels of the school system: administration, school, staff, classroom (including students), and community (school board and caretakers).

Disposition 9: Trauma-informed educators understand the primacy of attachment theory, and its emphasis on mentoring, to the neural development of students and adults throughout the lifespan.

Disposition 10: Trauma-informed educators understand that student behavior, in part, is often a reflection of unintegrated neural networks due to past and/or current unmitigated stress and trauma, and require the student to first establish a sense of safety and stability prior to commencing with here-and-now developmental expectations.

Disposition 11: Trauma-informed educators understand that persons all along the lifespan are influenced by past experiences shaping perceptions and emotional responses. It is a lifelong task to understand this connection while learning to self-regulate in the face of intense emotional responses to current events.

Disposition 12: Trauma-informed educators are aware that students process unmitigated stress and trauma in both direct and indirect ways as they engage in all aspects of the trauma-informed educational environment, and are able to offer an attuned and mentoring response.

Disposition 13: Trauma-informed educators are skilled in attuning to grief and mourning responses that often accompany academic engagement as neural networks integrate, which allow for deeper connection to memory and its meaning to occur.

Disposition 14: Trauma-informed education systems include licensed mental health professionals available for students requesting or needing access to professional trauma-informed recovery services.

Disposition 15: Trauma-informed educators understand how to weave Connecting and Coaching practices into academic lesson plans, as the learning process, both the process of learning and the content to master, is also crucial to the integration of neural networks impacted by unmitigated stress and trauma.

Disposition 16: Trauma-informed educators understand the nature of a student’s academic and social-emotional functioning in the classroom, and how best to meet the individual needs of each student, whether in a traditional classroom or with additional assistance.

Disposition 17: Trauma-informed educators advocate on local, state, and national levels for greater understanding of the neurobiological impacts on a student when either (a) the student cannot self-regulate or (b) the student is repeatedly exposed to peers unable to self-regulate, leading to frequent episodes of classroom disruption. This constant state of dysregulation and exposure to peers in such states cause more stress and trauma for all students.


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Trauma-Informed School Practices by Anna A. Berardi and Brenda M. Morton is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License, except where otherwise noted.

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