2022 PaTTAN Literacy Symposium

05. Nurturing Teachers and their Students: Creating a Safe Space for Teaching and Learning

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Session Dates

Tuesday June 14, 2022 10:00 AM - 11:15 AM - Webinar

Today, more children than ever are coming to school with significant social and emotional vulnerabilities due to having experienced the chronic stress and trauma of the pandemic. Our students have experienced stress and trauma in the past, but this moment is unique because the experience is more universally shared. This period of time is also exceptional because our teachers also have experienced the chronic stress, loss and uncertainty of the pandemic as well as our students. Teachers are often given the role of superheroes in our society, but we cannot ask teachers to give what they do not have themselves!

While it is urgent that we address the needs of our students’ social and emotional needs, it is equally urgent that we address the needs of our teachers, if they are going to be able to help their students. Although it is essential that we address academic skills in our efforts to recover learning loss, it is also true, that in so doing, social and emotional needs can often be set aside. Research has demonstrated that trauma can interfere with the brain’s ability to be receptive to new learning. When we focus on the social and emotional needs of our students we can actually facilitate a greater openness to learning. Now, more than ever, the importance of finding a balance between social and emotional and academic needs is extremely important.

This workshop will address hands-on activities and strategies for supporting students and each other with care and connection. We have some extra tools at our disposal as teachers of literacy and language. When we are successful in teaching students to read well, they will have the ability to develop perspective from the characters and situations they read about. That perspective opens the door to empathy. Our society needs more perspective taking and empathy right now and we can work toward that as teachers of reading. Language allows us to identify and express our emotions. Our use of language to assist us in our efforts to connect with our students can transform traditional instruction into “trauma informed” instruction. Language and connection have the power to heal. Connecting with students does not cost money, and can create a climate and culture that can change a child’s life. (k-5)

Target Audience

Elementary Educators, Secondary Educators, Special Education Teachers, Speech Language Practitioners, School Leaders/Administrators, Reading Specialists, Teachers of English Language Learners, Literacy Coaches, Instructional Support Team Members, School Psychologists, Pre-Service Teachers, Higher Education Instructors, Paraprofessionals, and Families

Topics Covered: Literacy

Reasonable efforts will be made to accommodate individuals who have special needs as addressed by the Americans with Disabilities Act and who need assistance at this event. Contact: Kelly Kapp, at 717-901-2271, or kkapp@pattan.net.

Event Info

Event Type:



Judi Dodson

Event Contact:


Kelly Kapp

Content Contact:

Pam Kastner

Additional Info

Download a PDF of the SYMPOSIUM SCHEDULE here: