EdisonLearning Newsroom

Students, educators, and parents have all found themselves navigating a new and changing learning environment as a result of the past year. The Newsroom is designed to help students, educators, and parents navigate the changing education landscape. See our team's take on the latest below!

Podcast Cover_Wendy-1 (1)
Building the Bridge Podcast

We've launched a podcast series "Building the Bridge” featuring our very own Dr. Wendy Oliver. In this series, Dr. Oliver addresses how to best navigate through this unique time in education and how to do so successfully! Listen to past episodes and learn more about the podcast and Dr. Oliver herself below.

Listen Today
search (1) 4

Last summer, educators’ professional development focused on remote learning, as school districts nationwide scrambled to learn more about delivering a quality online education in the face of the pandemic. This summer, the focus for PD has shifted toward understanding trauma in an effort to best support students’ needs as we emerge from the depths of the pandemic. 

In the most recent episode of Building the Bridge, Dr. Wendy Oliver conducted part one of a two-part interview with Dr. Kathryn Kennedy, an expert in both trauma and online & blended learning. In this interview, Dr. Kennedy shared her perspective on social-emotional learning (SEL), her personal experience with trauma, and some surprising information about trauma and prolonged stress.

Learning can only take place when students are feeling mentally stable, shares Dr. Kennedy. Additionally, SEL needs to be viewed as a foundation, rather than an add-on. As a result of the pandemic, there are fears about learning loss and students and teachers not having done enough to keep up with their learning and teaching. When you focus only on meeting standards and achievement on assessments, you are trying to build something without a foundation. 

 

Trauma and the Mind

Dr. Kennedy notes that when we think about learning, and also trauma, and what our tolerance window is, it all goes back to our social-emotional health. She cites the polyvagal theory developed by Dr. Stephen Porges of the Kinsey Institute at the University of Indiana. The premise of the theory is the vagus nerve is part of our central nervous system and it basically hits every single one of the major organs in our body. When we have trauma or prolonged stress, all of the systems in our body are affected. We tend to go into either a hypoarousal or hyperarousal state. Fight or flight, or fawn or flop, if you will. It’s a matter of how one copes with stress. 

The polyvagal theory addresses that window of tolerance as being the one place where new learning can happen. In essence, if we are not taking care of our social and emotional selves and our true mental health and well-being, we are not going to be able to learn new things. Dr. Kennedy stresses that we need to put a lot more effort into strategies that will encourage people to take care of their mental health and well-being in order to be able to function to the best of our abilities. 

Trauma and the Body

When asked why trauma is an area of focus for her as a researcher, Dr. Kennedy shares her personal experience with trauma as a child. You will have to listen to the podcast to hear the story, but she shares with us her childhood trauma and how participating in art therapy as a young girl was comforting. Her therapist was empathetic and let her know that she saw her and understood why she was behaving a certain way. To be told that her concerns were heard was extremely helpful with her healing. 

Later on in her adult life, she discovered a book written by Bessel van der Kolk called “The Body Keeps the Score.” According to Kathryn, the book basically describes how the body holds onto things when you have trauma or prolonged stress. As much as we want to tell people who have experienced trauma and who have experienced prolonged stress that they should do cognitive behavioral therapy or go to a therapist, you also need to expel your trauma or prolonged stress through physical movement in order to move it out of your body.  

“I read that book and it was eye-opening because I had been in therapy for 35 years,” she shares. “Cognitive behavioral therapy, specifically. I was definitely understanding how to be compassionate toward the people that were involved in all of the different traumatic events in my life. And to have compassion, to have empathy, to have sympathy – all of these different things – but at the same time, I still internally felt all of the feelings that would come up.” 

She wondered to herself why she would continue to have feelings of anxiety and why she was not processing her feelings. She then discovered yoga and Qigong and many other ways of healing the body through movement, which brought her to a whole new level of healing. 

Whether you’re a parent, a teacher, or simply a human being who has survived the pandemic, you likely play an important role in the lives of others. Please practice self-care and nurture your mind and your body so that you can be the best for yourself and in turn for others. 

Listen to the interview with Dr. Kathryn Kennedy at https://www.edisonlearning.com/podcast or subscribe on Apple, Spotify, Google Podcasts, and more podcast platforms. 

Rectangle 547-Jan-19-2021-11-35-13-70-AM
Rectangle 547-4
Rectangle 547-Jan-19-2021-11-35-13-70-AM

Related Newsroom Posts

The poorest students are falling furthest behind. Can mentoring help?

Mentoring could be a key tool in K-12’s COVID recovery, particularly as evidence of the inequitable academic impacts of ...

  • 01 / 14 / 2022
  • |
  • 14 min read

CEO Thom Jackson on Martin Luther King, Jr.

  • 01 / 14 / 2022
  • |
  • 16 min read

3 Strategies for Hiring New Teachers

During the pandemic, and even before, significant teacher turnover has led to a shortage of teachers in a number of stat...

  • 12 / 28 / 2021
  • |
  • 26 min read

More Content You May Like

The poorest students are falling furthest behind. Can mentoring help?

Mentoring could be a key tool in K-12’s COVID recovery, particularly as evidence of the inequitable academic impacts of ...

  • 01 / 14 / 2022
  • |
  • 14 min read

CEO Thom Jackson on Martin Luther King, Jr.

  • 01 / 14 / 2022
  • |
  • 16 min read

3 Strategies for Hiring New Teachers

During the pandemic, and even before, significant teacher turnover has led to a shortage of teachers in a number of stat...

  • 12 / 28 / 2021
  • |
  • 26 min read

4 Steps to Approach and Enhance SEL with Digital Learning

As all educators are aware in this era of blended learning, digital tools can be invaluable resources for supporting tea...

  • 12 / 23 / 2021
  • |
  • 22 min read

A Holiday Message

As the faces of students and teachers throughout our school network show in the above photos – instilling a joy for lear...

  • 12 / 22 / 2021
  • |
  • 13 min read

4 Educator-Parent Partnership Strategies to Support Student Success

Developing strong connections between educators and parents―and especially having conversations that enable all parties ...

  • 12 / 21 / 2021
  • |
  • 29 min read

New research shows homeschool growth across all race, income categories

Recent growth in homeschooling means that families who teach their kids at home now more closely reflect the nation’s di...

  • 12 / 1 / 2021
  • |
  • 28 min read

EdisonLearning Joins with Digital Learning Collaborative to Improve Online Education

EdisonLearning will help guide DLC’s activities and strategy to evaluate, amplify and implement best practices in digita...

  • 12 / 1 / 2021
  • |
  • 20 min read

By the Numbers — How 100 School Systems Are (and Aren’t) Recovering from COVID: Tutoring, Extra Class Time & Other Learning Acceleration Strategies

Learning acceleration describes efforts to expose students to engaging, grade-level content while catching them up on sk...

  • 11 / 30 / 2021
  • |
  • 33 min read

New Data Show School Staffing Shortages Disproportionately Hitting High-Poverty Districts During Pandemic

Tukwila, Washington is a working-class suburb just south of Seattle where three-quarters of young people in the city’s s...

  • 11 / 25 / 2021
  • |
  • 45 min read

3 Steps to Have SEL in Every Lesson

Every teacher I’ve known wants their students to grow as people, as well as to learn the specific curriculum. Throughout...

  • 11 / 23 / 2021
  • |
  • 20 min read

5 Steps to Better Self-Care and Mindfulness

Educator-authors Danielle Nuhfer and Mike Anderson recently joined our podcast series, Building the Bridge, to share the...

  • 11 / 22 / 2021
  • |
  • 34 min read

6 Tips to Help Your Students Navigate Digital Spaces

What steps do you take to help students better navigate digital spaces? We know that effectively using digital spaces re...

  • 11 / 17 / 2021
  • |
  • 22 min read

Veterans Day

Veterans Day Thom Jackson, EdisonLearning President & CEO There are nearly 21 million living American men and women ...

  • 11 / 11 / 2021
  • |
  • 29 min read

3 Creativity Lessons to Learn from Animals

3 Creativity Lessons to Learn from Animals By Pronita Mehrotra  Creativity has become one of the most desired skills to ...

  • 10 / 26 / 2021
  • |
  • 26 min read

Statement on General Colin Powell

Statement on General Colin Powell Thom Jackson, EdisonLearning President & CEO General Colin Powell, a decorated sol...

  • 10 / 19 / 2021
  • |
  • 13 min read

5 Questions to Learn More About Digital Citizenship

5 Questions to Learn More About Digital Citizenship

  • 10 / 7 / 2021
  • |
  • 28 min read

Small Steps to Beat Burnout with Mike Anderson - Episode 38

Small Steps to Beat Burnout with Mike Anderson Award-winning educator, author and education consultant Mike Anderson is ...

  • 09 / 23 / 2021
  • |
  • 10 min read

Mint, Electric Cars and How Creativity Can Flourish In Remote Environments

Mint, Electric Cars and How Creativity Can Flourish In Remote Environments

  • 09 / 23 / 2021
  • |
  • 36 min read

3 Timely Actions for K-12 Leaders to Improve Schools Today

3 Timely Actions for K-12 Leaders to Improve Schools Today

  • 09 / 21 / 2021
  • |
  • 21 min read

Mindfulness Practices for Educators and Parents - Episode 37

Mindfulness Practices for Educators and Parents with Danielle Nuhfer Mindfulness is a topic of great importance as we co...

  • 09 / 15 / 2021
  • |
  • 11 min read

5 Tips for Teaching Self-Awareness and Rethinking Priorities

5 Tips for Teaching Self-Awareness and Rethinking Priorities

  • 09 / 14 / 2021
  • |
  • 20 min read

Back to School: Two Ways to Build a Bridge Between Teachers and Parents

Back to School: Two Ways to Build a Bridge Between Teachers and Parents

  • 09 / 9 / 2021
  • |
  • 26 min read

Inclusive Teachers Must Be ‘Asset-Based Believers'

Inclusive Teachers Must Be ‘Asset-Based Believers' By Larry Ferlazzo

  • 09 / 8 / 2021
  • |
  • 14 min read

Key Findings to Successfully Address Digital Inequity - Episode 36

Key Findings to Successfully Address Digital Inequity with Dr. Vikki Katz What does it mean to be under-connected? On th...

  • 09 / 8 / 2021
  • |
  • 11 min read

First Weeks of School: The Beginning of the Story Your Students Will Tell

The First Weeks of School: The Beginning of the Story Your Students Will Tell By Mike Anderson

  • 09 / 7 / 2021
  • |
  • 46 min read

SEL for All with Discovery Education’s Rachel Barrachina - Episode 35

SEL for All with Discovery Education’s Rachel Barrachina- Episode 34 Continuing our series of episodes centered on socia...

  • 08 / 30 / 2021
  • |
  • 9 min read

14 Elements of Digital Learning Communication Plans

14 Elements of Digital Learning Communication Plans As we enter the school year and engage in remote and digital learnin...

  • 08 / 30 / 2021
  • |
  • 35 min read

Mental Health Literacy with Christina Broderick - Episode 34

Mental Health Literacy with Christina Broderick- Episode 34 As we continue our series covering all aspects of social-emo...

  • 08 / 18 / 2021
  • |
  • 8 min read

EdisonLearning / NorthStar Academies and FMU Prepare Students for Jobs

EdisonLearning / NorthStar Academies and Florida Memorial University Prepare High School Students to be Job Ready upon G...

  • 08 / 18 / 2021
  • |
  • 24 min read

5 Ways District Leaders Are Overcoming COVID-19 Challenges

5 Ways District Leaders Are Overcoming COVID-19 Challenges Dan Domenech, Executive Director of AASA – The School Superin...

  • 08 / 16 / 2021
  • |
  • 24 min read

3 Lessons for Understanding and Addressing Student Trauma

3 Lessons for Understanding and Addressing Student Trauma Expanding on part one of their conversation, Building the Brid...

  • 08 / 13 / 2021
  • |
  • 32 min read

Trauma-Informed Strategies with Dr. Kathryn Kennedy, Part 2 - Episode 33

Trauma-Informed Strategies with Dr. Kathryn Kennedy, Part 2 - Episode 33 In part two of our discussion with Dr. Kathryn ...

  • 08 / 13 / 2021
  • |
  • 7 min read

EdisonLearning and the Learning Counsel to Prepare School Leaders for the Re-imagination of Digital Learning in the Wake of Covid-19

                                            The 2021 EduJedi Seminars for K-12 will Equip School Administrators with Tec...

  • 08 / 4 / 2021
  • |
  • 21 min read

Two Ways Trauma Affects Students and Adults

Last summer, educators’ professional development focused on remote learning, as school districts nationwide scrambled to...

  • 07 / 29 / 2021
  • |
  • 24 min read

Trauma-Informed Strategies with Dr. Kathryn Kennedy, Part 1 - Episode 32

As we approach a new school year and hope to emerge from many of the disruptions caused by the pandemic, we must acknowl...

  • 07 / 29 / 2021
  • |
  • 7 min read

5 Key Terms in the K-12 Conversation

In one of the most recent episodes of our Building the Bridge podcast, Dr. Wendy Oliver defined some of the most frequen...

  • 07 / 28 / 2021
  • |
  • 27 min read

Defining 5 Key Terms in K-12 Education - Episode 31

As we emerge from the pandemic and approach the new school year, many parents and educators are in discussions about cla...

  • 07 / 15 / 2021
  • |
  • 8 min read

What You Should Know About How Kids Learn

Patrice Bain Shares Invaluable Insights on How Kids Learn Patrice Bain is an educator, presenter and author who has spen...

  • 07 / 12 / 2021
  • |
  • 20 min read

5,190 are now graduates of EdisonLearning schools

With the Class of 2021 Commencement Ceremonies now concluded at all seven of EdisonLearning’s Florida-based network scho...

  • 07 / 8 / 2021
  • |
  • 9 min read

How We Talk Trauma in Our School Communities

By: Jethro Jones About two months ago, I released a whitepaper on Trauma and, when I released it, I asked for phone numb...

  • 07 / 8 / 2021
  • |
  • 30 min read

Social-Emotional Learning and Trauma - Episode 30

With a new school year on the horizon – one that in many ways may be a “return to normal” after the extended pandemic – ...

  • 07 / 7 / 2021
  • |
  • 10 min read

4 Popular Social Media Apps for Kids

Online safety is a prevalent topic that should be revisited periodically. As new social media apps become popular with k...

  • 07 / 6 / 2021
  • |
  • 50 min read

Parents Advocate for Hybrid Learning Options

Keri Rodrigues, Founding President of the National Parents Union (NPU) and a mother of three, is referred to as “arguabl...

  • 07 / 2 / 2021
  • |
  • 16 min read

How Superintendents Approached the Pandemic: One Leader's Persepective

Over the past several months on the Building the Bridge podcast, Dr. Wendy Oliver and a variety of guests have discussed...

  • 06 / 30 / 2021
  • |
  • 22 min read

Global Leader Yong Zhao Shares Strategies to Avoid the “Learning Loss Trap”

We are delighted to share Dr. Wendy Oliver’s interview with world renowned education scholar, Dr. Yong Zhao, where we le...

  • 06 / 28 / 2021
  • |
  • 36 min read

The Power of Podcasting in the Blended Classroom - Episode 29

The guests on this exciting episode of Building the Bridge are Jess Kertz and Jostin Grimes, a pair of Education Special...

  • 06 / 2 / 2021
  • |
  • 11 min read

Enhancing SEL with Digital Tools - Episode 28

Social-emotional learning (SEL) has been a hot topic in education conversations, especially over the past year, as the C...

  • 05 / 26 / 2021
  • |
  • 9 min read

What to Know About Digital Ethics with Dr. Kristen Mattson - Episode 27

Dr. Kristen Mattson joins us to discuss an important, evolving topic in our digital world: ethics. She begins by definin...

  • 05 / 12 / 2021
  • |
  • 13 min read

Celebrating Teacher Appreciation Week - Episode 26

Teacher Appreciation Week takes place annually the first full week of May, and this year we are especially grateful. Ove...

  • 05 / 4 / 2021
  • |
  • 8 min read