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Faculty Development; Poverty; Workshops; Trauma; Stress Variables; Student Needs; Needs Assessment; Educational Environment; Educational Strategies; Work Environment; Barriers; Teacher Aides; Paraprofessional Personnel; Teaching Assistants; Models; Program Descriptions; Elementary Schools; Surveys; Focus Groups


Schools serving communities with high rates of poverty face the profound challenge of meeting the needs of students who are often exposed to significant family and environmental stressors and trauma. Classroom staff are vital members of schoolcommunities who often work closely with students with the highest needs, but they are typically not provided with professionaldevelopment opportunities to develop skills for social-emotional learning intervention. This study, conducted in three parts, describes (1) a needs assessment with classroom staff to determine their learning needs, (2) the development and implementation of a series ofprofessional development workshops that incorporated findings from the needs assessment, and (3) post-workshop surveys and focus groups to assess the impact of the workshops and identify ongoing professional development needs. Findings include themes of continuing concern regarding learning, school climate, and the need to address stress and trauma in students' lives. Additionally, findings point to the workplace environment as creating barriers for classroom staff to implement new strategies and make use of the knowledge and skills gained in the workshops. Implications for building or enhancing a trauma-informed school community are discussed.

Publisher Attribution

Anderson, Elizabeth M., Blitz, Lisa V., & Saastamoinen, Monique. (2015). Exploring a School-University Model for Professional Development with Classroom Staff: Teaching Trauma-Informed Approaches. School Community Journal, 25(2), 113-134.

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