An Auto-Ethnography of the Implementation of Social-Emotional Focused Programming in a Kindergarten/Grade 1 Classroom
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More than 60% of students have experienced one or more traumatic events in their life by the time they reach 17 years of age (Blodgett & Lanigan, 2018; Langley, Gonzalez, Sugar, Solis & Jaycox, 2015; Holmes, Levy, Smith, Pinne & Neese, 2015). Despite this statistic, there are not adequate mental health services within the education system to address the growing population of traumatized youth (Cobbett, 2016). This autoethnography study looks at the impact of social-emotional focused programming in a kindergarten and grade 1 classroom to see if this mitigates the impact of trauma challenges such as poor attendance and academic delays. Detailed research notes were taken over 3 months by the classroom teacher/researcher. Upon completion of the study, common themes emerged including, teacher time constraints and stress, the importance of a soft start, environmental influences on calming, and the importance of connections to the engagement and attendance of students during the early years to facilitate optimal learning.