Safe to learn: Embedding trauma-informed wellbeing practices is my first book. I spent many weekends and holidays researching and writing on this topic, about which I feel extremely passionate. I know that education is not equitable, and that as we can better understand the impacts of early life adversity, we can do a better job of levelling the playing field.
Our young students come to schools fully-formed, with a life experience that is often unknown to educators. With the approach of 'assume complexity' we can shift the idea that we blame and punish students for the behaviours we don't like, and instead we can think about more deeply understanding what drives behaviour, and we can consider how we best teach it.
Students without a sense of safety struggle to learn. It is our job, as educators, to ensure school is a safe place - physically, emotionally and educationally. We find safety in relationships, and because of this, educators have the power to positively change the lives of their students, with the most impactful change coming for those who live with adversities that can include abuse and neglect, but also poverty, racism, parental mental ill-health, and societal structures that harm.
Safe to learn is first and foremost a practical book, but it also delves into the science of the impacts of trauma and adversity. It is easy to read, and contains something for anyone who works with children. My hope is that this book supports educators to know their impact, and offers a way to increase equity for our students.
I acknowledge the Wurundjeri Woi Wurrung people of the Kulin Nation as the traditional owners of the unceded lands on which I work, live, and learn. I pay my respects to elders past and present. I acknowledge the ongoing trauma of colonisation.