Trauma resiliency training for teachers and educators in Israel 

Beyond their parents, children in Israel spend most of their time in the care of their teachers and educators. In addition to their roles as educators, teachers are often overwhelmed by having to care for classrooms of up to 40 anxious and traumatized young students. This was most acutely seen in the months following Operation Protective Edge during which thousands of children and their families lived day and night underground for 50 days over the summer due to the constant barrage of rocket attacks. Shortly after the fighting stopped, children and teachers were expected to return to school without any opportunity or infrastructure for processing the traumatic events of the proceeding weeks. 

NATAL believes that in order for teachers to be able to provide appropriate support to their students, they must first find healing develop emotional resiliency within themselves. Many teachers are also parents with families who depend on them and similarly impacted like many of their students. NATAL helps them develop necessary internal strengths and coping capacities as a first step to ensuring their leadership during both routine and emergency.  

Some of the goals and subjects covered in the training include: 

  • To develop emotional strengths and coping capacities in teachers as evidenced in everyday functioning as well as emergency situations.
  • A reduction in teachers’ symptoms of trauma and in increase in general relaxation, concentration, self-reliance and confidence.
  • The ability to identify symptoms of trauma in themselves and others.
  • A demonstrated understanding of normal vs. abnormal stress responses in children and adults.
  • The ability to facilitate the development of trauma resiliency in children using creative and age appropriate methods.
  • The improved ability to help and support one another in times of stress and crisis and to emerge as strong local community leaders promoting trauma awareness and advocacy. 

NATAL works with all sectors of society in this program including Bedouin communities which are commonly directly exposed to the conflict due to a lack of proper infrastructure. By the end of the training teachers gain an impressive set of specialized tools and resources for providing support to their students and themselves, as well as becoming local leaders for trauma awareness in their schools and communities. 

Looking to learn more about NATAL’s special programs in schools? Take a look at the Safe Place, NATAL’s Therapeutic Puppet Show, and Playback Theater programs.