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Creating a Safe Place in the Classroom

When thinking about creating a safe place in the classroom, it is hard to know where to begin. There are so many areas to cover! In this post, we are going to start with the basics. Below are three simple and fast ways to transform your classroom physically into a trauma informed classroom.

The Layout of the Classroom

Try to set up the room to where every child has a direct view of the teacher, ideally with no one behind them. This can be challenging due to limited space, so get creative in desk arrangement. If children have to be placed behind each other, try to arrange it in a slightly zig zag format.

Trauma Informed Goal Being able to make eye contact with every child and not creating a potential trigger, discomfort, or distraction of having someone behind them.

Calm Down Space

Have a space in the room specifically for helping children calm down. Give this place a fun name. I often call it the cozy spot or something similar. This place is designed with emotion regulation in mind. Great tools that can be used include weighted blankets, calm down bottles, stress balls, squishy objects, cut out paper candles, etc. Ideally, having a helper in the classroom who can go sit with the child while in the spot would be great.

Trauma Informed Goal

Providing a safe place for children to help them practice emotional regulation.

Organization, Organization, Organization

Have a consistent routine and put it up somewhere in the room. Make sure that it includes multiple bathroom breaks, a snack time, and some free time. If needed, give details about what each category includes. For example, free time can include playing on the playground, bringing a book outside to read, etc.

Trauma Informed Goal

Reducing anxiety by providing structure and allowing a child to become comfortable with their schedule.

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