Teachers who understand trauma 'tend to run relaxed classrooms'

Published:10 February 2019

CQUniversity Master of Clinical Psychology student, Jessica Conroy.

Teachers trained to understand trauma tend to run more relaxed classrooms than their counterparts.

That’s according to CQUniversity student Jessica Conroy, who juggles her Master of Clinical Psychology studies with work as a teacher at St John the Baptist Catholic Primary School in Gladstone.

“Teachers who had lower trauma knowledge tended to be more controlling in their classroom style, with set seating and more silence required,” Mrs Conroy says.

“Teachers with higher trauma knowledge tended to be more fluid, allowing movement breaks and more time to process and encouraging students to sit where they felt most comfortable and safe. They tended to speak rather than shout and be less punitive in general.”

Mrs Conroy completed her thesis titled 'Exploring Trauma-Aware Schooling Knowledge and Classroom Management Practices in Central Queensland Catholic Schools' in 2019, under the supervision of CQUniversity Senior Lecturer, Dr Karen Klockner.

The project earned a prize from the Australian Psychological Society (APS), which includes complimentary membership, a certificate, and an invitation to present a poster at the APS national conference in Brisbane in October this year.