Teachers, School, Mental Health, Sexual Assault, Abuse, Support, TEDTalk, Guidance Counselor, Lisa Godwin, Childhood Trauma

Helping Students get through Trauma

While many think of parents and relatives when it comes to important guidance figures in life. There are other adults who make an impact. These adults include the teachers of the world, who spend a significant amount of time with their students. During this time, teachers can be one the most influential parts of children’s lives. Providing them a sense of security they may not have at home. 

This is especially the case for Lisa Godwin, an advocate for children and a voice for teachers. Godwin feels strongly about teachers aiding children through trauma, as her teacher did just that for her when she was six years old. Lisa Godwin goes on to tell her story in her TEDTalk and confesses she was a victim of sexual assault at a very young age. Her being a victim led to Godwin to be weary of men. So much so that when she met her teacher Mr. Randolph, she did everything she could to avoid him.

However, as the school year went on Mr. Randolph realized that something was off about Godwin’s behaviour. This made him work hard to slowly build a trusting relationship with Lisa. He gained Godwin’s trust and decided the next step was for Lisa to meet with the guidance counselor, Ms. McFayden. The two continued to meet over a span of two years, due to Lisa being fearful of disclosing her abuse. While Godwin was never able to tell other adults about her circumstances she did build up the confidence to stand up to her abuser and got the sexual assault to stop. Lisa attributes this to the teachers in her life who cared enough to pay attention to her and give her the support she desperately needed. 

Godwin now advocates for how important it is to be present in your students’ lives. She notes there is an importance of noticing when behaviours are off. In fact, Mr. Randolph and Ms. McFadyn made such an impact on Lisa she decided to become a kindergarten teacher so she can support students and help them get through trauma they may be battling. Lisa Godwin was able to succeed in life and get out of a poor situation with the help of teachers. Showing that teachers are much more than just academic instructors. 

To watch the TEDTalk click here

Image Credits:
Feature Image: Jordan Whitt, On Unsplash. Creative Commons