Half the students in U.S. schools are experiencing or have experienced trauma, violence, or chronic stress. Much has been written about these students from a therapeutic perspective, especially regarding how to provide them with adequate counseling supports and services. Conversely, little has been written about teaching this population and doing so from a strengths-based perspective.
Experts Debbie Zacarian, Lourdes Alvarez-Ortiz, and Judie Haynes outline a comprehensive, collaborative approach to teaching that focuses on students' strengths and resiliency. Teaching to Strengths encourages educators to embrace teaching and schoolwide practices that support and enhance the academic and social-emotional development of students living with trauma, violence, and chronic stress.