The documentary “Paper Tigers” hit me in the heart. Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs) “have a tremendous impact on future violence victimization and perpetration, and lifelong health and opportunity.” (https://www.cdc.gov/violenceprevention/acestudy/) If we look at our struggling students through the lens of Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs), it changes the way we interact with kids. Teachers, in this movie and in our district, are truly doing the noblest of all work!
Principal Mari Schauer and staff realized that traditional discipline methods weren’t working for kids at Silver Star. They also realized that many of their students had a high number of “ACEs”. After several conference calls and email exchanges, on January 26th Jim Sporleder (former principal of school Lincoln HS and featured in Paper Tigers) and his daughter Jodi Grove, a behavior specialist, joined Silver Star certificated and classified staff to help them build their understanding of trauma informed practices. Jim and Jodi spent the day in classrooms alongside Schauer, District Behavior Interventionist Casey Lyons, District
Literacy Specialist Gail Westbrook, Silver Star Instructional Coach Jody Kelly and Silver Star Behavior Interventionist Jeff Shermer. Before school, an all-staff meeting focused on trauma and the brain, and included information on the use of a “calm room” to allow students to de-escalate and regulate emotions alongside a staff member. Staff also had the opportunity to participate in optional dialogues with Jim and Jodi at lunch and after school.
“Paper Tiger” reveals the trials and triumphs of kids at Lincoln High with ACEs, and shows adults how to begin to make a difference. Paper Tigers is thought provoking, at times discouraging, informative, and inspiring. Check it out and see what you think.