I have a unique job. I get to train practitioners to become ACE aware and challenge organisations to become ACE informed. I also get to 'practise what I preach!'. I have focused on looking at my practice through an ACE lens when I step into my classroom and teach. Since doing this the relationships between myself and my students has strengthened. I have provided my students with resilient strategies to support them as learners. At every opportunity and especially during 1:1 sessions I have explained to them about the brain and what can trigger the fight, flight or freeze. Asking them 'what can I do for you' has shown a shift in culture within my classroom. Telling those really emotionally hurt students that they are cared for and that events that they have experienced are not their fault have resulted in the breaking down of barriers. I know we are in an age were there is a thirst for quantitative data. I could provide quantitative data to show impact for what I've done. But data can always be manipulated and often hinders natural development of things.
When we believe in the need to make a change it's always important to remember the quote below by Gandhi. Sometimes it's hard when you are putting in so much time and effort. But self belief is so important.
You do get 'moments' when you know you've changed culture for the best and it's being noticed. Hearing 'You always praise everyone you do Miss!' from one of my more challenging Year 11 students as she bounced through the door of my classroom made me smile. She had watched me talk to each student as they had left my classroom prior to the start of hers. I had made personal comments to each student as they left either thanking them for the way they Hi had helped or how they've had a positive attitude towards their learning or how they could change to become more resilient or reminding them that I'd be in my classroom at lunchtime if they needed to talk. Whatever I said reminded each student that I cared. But for my actions to be noted by one of my students really highlighted a cultural change which was way more powerful than a set of figures on a piece of paper.