Arts Education Trauma-Informed Curriculum Development
New York City Children’s Theater leads theatre and music residency programs for literacy and social-emotional development that are rooted in trauma-informed, culturally-responsive and anti-racist principles. Our healing-centered lesson plans feature literary texts which honor the identities and feelings of our students, and active exercises are scaffolded with mindfulness breathing and physical exercises which help to regulate students’ nervous systems.
All exercises are designed with calming rituals and predictable transitions to support the students’ emotional well-being.
Training and Professional Development for Educators
New York City Children’s Theater has hired trauma-informed practitioners and therapists Alison Finder (MA, RDT, LCAT) and Heidi Landis (RDT-BCT, LCAT, TEP, CGP) to lead extensive professional development training on trauma-informed pedagogy for our Teaching Artist roster of 50 Teaching Artists and 72 DOE teachers.
These workshops use interactive exercises, discussion, and reflection exercises to provide educators with the tools that they need to use trauma-informed practice in their classrooms.
These workshops have covered the following topics:
- Focusing on social-emotional needs of students in crisis
- Understanding complex trauma and how it manifests in certain behaviors
- How to recognize when students are feeling activated and use strategic tools to regulate them
- Reducing vulnerability factors and increasing protective factors
- Identifying secondary trauma, transference, and countertransference
- Exploring self-care and building mastery as educators
We are currently developing trauma-informed webinars for educators alongside therapist Christopher Causey which will be released this fall. These videos will include testimonials from our Teaching Artist team, as well as sharing best practices for working with school communities through a healing-centered approach.