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Greenwood Learning Academy preparing for the school year with new training

Posted at 5:16 PM, Aug 05, 2019
and last updated 2019-08-05 19:17:26-04

TULSA — New training for teachers a year after Greenwood Leadership Academy parents complained about how some educators handled bias and children dealing with trauma.

Social, Emotional Learning and Trauma instructor Stephanie Thai started training out with a game.

Principal Michael Carter says this activity was about the early development of brain activity in a child.

"They are building the brain using pipe cleaners and straws," Carter said. "So negative influences weaken the architecture, the positive experiences strengthen the structure, so at the end of the game they see how all of these experiences course out of this child's life."

Carter says he hopes his teachers understand and empathy grows for their students.

"Also understanding children don't come to us mean because they want to be mean or angry because they want to be angry," Carter said. "Things have occurred in their lives that have caused them to get to this point and so it's our job to undo some of those things."

Writing teacher Brittnee Buck says she wishes she had training like this years ago

"Learning what things trigger them and sometimes kids don't want to fight and other times they shut down," Buck said. "So you have to know the different spaces kids can be in. Once we point it out, we can talk and begin to teach the kid."

Buck says she's dealt with troublesome children in the past, but until you know what's going on at home or how to deal with the trauma, it's hard to help.

"Sometimes people are confined to gangs or drugs because they cannot move," Buck says. "When you learn things like that, and you have this kind of training, it makes you look at the community around us differently."

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