Community of educators gathers to battle stress, trauma in the classroom

Nearly 300 attended the 6th annual Trauma Sensitive Schools Symposium

June 13, 2022

The last few years have been difficult for everyone dealing with the collective trauma of the COVID-19 pandemic — and educators are no exception. Challenged by rapid changes in the educational system, such as virtual learning, studies show that educators are facing dramatically increased stress levels.

A recent survey from the Maricopa County superintendent’s office found that 80% of the 2,500 respondents reported feeling severe or extreme levels of stress this year. This is a 70% increase from the pre-pandemic levels reported in 2019.   Teacher and students interacting in a classroom. A recent survey from the Maricopa County superintendent’s office found that 80% of educators reported feeling severe or extreme levels of stress this year.

Last Tuesday, nearly 300 educators gathered to support one another and share strategies for positive improvement at the sixth annual Trauma Sensitive Schools Symposium. State and district leaders, administrators, school mental health professionals and teachers of all grades engaged with one another through networking sessions, community building and mindfulness activities. 

The event, which is typically focused on bringing awareness to trauma and its effects in the classroom, helped educators expand their unique abilities to create needed systems of wellness.

The theme was “Mind Full or Mindful: Systems Change to Support Wellness.” Speakers highlighted ways to improve the educational system through empowerment, collaboration and safety. The event also emphasized the importance of emotional co-regulation, a process in which adults step in to help children process and manage complicated emotions.

“Science shows us that the ability to learn is influenced by family and community values and experiences," said co-organizer Sarah Lindstrom Johnson, an associate professor at Arizona State University's T. Denny Sanford School of Social and Family Dynamics. "In order to improve educational outcomes, it is therefore critical for the educational system to engage in a more meaningful way with families and communities.”

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The event included several keynote speakers, such as Lindstrom Johnson, Marc Brackett, the founder and director of the Yale Center for Emotional Intelligence and a professor in the Child Study Center of Yale University, and Angie Burleson, executive director of the Arizona Adverse Childhood Experiences (AZ ACEs) Consortium.

Brackett presented on emotional intelligence and its use in the classroom, while Lindstrom Johnson followed with a presentation on the importance of family engagement.

Afterward, Burleson spoke on the impact of adverse childhood experiences. Participants then joined breakout sessions hosted by a diverse array of professionals covering a range of topics. Sessions included the following:

  • “Building a Healing Village 101,” led by Michelle Campuzano from the Roosevelt School Board and Michelle Sambrano from Southwest Behavioral & Health Services.
  • "Engaging Every Family,” led by Patsy Rethore-Larson from the Arizona Department of Education.
  • "Motivational Interviewing: Engage, Connect, and Empower,” led by Jeremiah Kaplan from the ASU Southwest Interdisciplinary Research Center.

Other breakout sessions covered topics such as resilience in American Indian students, the power of student connection and the relevance of attachment theory.

Participants learned strategies to take back to the classroom, especially regarding emotional regulation. Keynote speaker Brackett advised participants to be “emotion detectives” instead of emotion judges, highlighting the value of using emotions as a critical tool to understand circumstances and apply solutions. Attendees learned the importance of identifying specific emotions, sometimes through helpful tools such as a mood meter.

Burleson shared some insight, saying, “A child cannot out-regulate an adult.”

The event was jointly organized by the ASU Positive Family Support CARE program (funded through a grant from the Institute for Educational Science), the Arizona Department of Education and the AZ ACEs Consortium.

Jennifer Moore

Communications Specialist Associate, T. Denny Sanford School of Social and Family Dynamics

Arizona PBS launches new, redesigned website

Part of the 'Your Arizona Connection Starts Here' campaign, which aims to grow, diversify Arizona PBS audience

June 13, 2022

Arizona PBS has launched a new, redesigned website that aims to connect viewers with important resources and information, and offer top-quality, entertaining content for all ages. 

The redesigned website signals the launch of the “Your Arizona Connection Starts Here” Arizona PBS brand elevation campaign. A multi-platform effort that aims to grow and diversify the Arizona PBS audience, this campaign will update members, viewers and partners on the station’s new vision and direction, and educate Arizonans on the many resources the station provides.  Open laptop on a desk with the new Arizona PBS website on the screen. Arizona PBS has launched a new, redesigned website that aims to connect viewers with important resources and information, and offer top-quality, entertaining content for all ages Download Full Image

“In today’s ever-changing media landscape, public media stations must continue to invest in their digital assets to remain competitive and to ensure that all citizens are able to access content,” Arizona PBS General Manager Adrienne R. Fairwell said. “Not only is the revamped more graphically appealing and user-friendly, it’s more adaptable, which will allow us to more efficiently and effectively meet the needs of our audience.” 

A key component of the “Your Arizona Starts Here” launch is an integrated marketing campaign including billboards around metro Phoenix and digital advertisements across various platforms from Flagstaff to Yuma. Friends and supporters of Arizona PBS are asked to join the celebration of the last 61 years of KAET and the next chapter, which embraces technology, diversity and innovation in broadcasting.

The campaign also will encourage viewers and friends of Arizona PBS to share their own unique connections to the station across various engagement platforms. These initiatives align with the station’s three-year strategic plan, which highlights how the station will strengthen its relationship with the community and solidify its position in the Arizona market.

“This is a very exciting milestone for Arizona PBS. The campaign and website fall right in line with our strategic plan categories, which call for providing easy access to programming and building a campaign to spread awareness,” Fairwell said. 

From a visual standpoint, the relaunched site features a darker background, brighter accents and streamlined navigation tools, putting a greater focus on Arizona PBS content and making the site easier to use. From local favorites, such as “Check, Please! Arizona” and “Art in the 48,” to national hits, like “Finding Your Roots” and “American Experience,” content is easier to find and enjoy.

Jamar Younger

Associate Editor, Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication