Recommended Reading

I am often asked for book and article recommendations to learn more about secondary/vicarious trauma, compassion fatigue, social-emotional learning, and restorative practices. This is not an exhaustive list of every worthwhile text and I will continue to update this page periodically. Here are some of my favorites.

(Note: This is not an ad. I am not receiving any payment for these recommendations.)

Fostering Resilient Learners

By Kristin Souers and Pete Hall, 2016

I use this as an anchor text for the Masters level course I teach at Doane University, EDU 745: Trauma - Teaching Through Experiences.

The text provides an excellent foundational understanding of trauma and actionable strategies to incorporate into instructional practices.

Whole: What Teachers Need to Help Students Thrive

By Rex Miller, 2020

I appreciate the honesty in this text. The author paints an accurate picture of the state of education and seeks to understand the problem of teacher exhaustion while also proposing solutions.

Particularly, Miller challenges the notion that teachers are disengaged due to burnout and instead argues that teachers are actually overengaged due to the high needs of their students and school communities.

Social Emotional Learning and the Brain

By Marilee Sprenger, 2020

This book is like a big toolbox full of strategies and ideas to build community, learn collaboratively while prioritizing social and emotional safety, model empathy, and practice skill-building. If you work with new teachers in your school or district, this is a great text to use for a book club!

Compassion Fatigue Following the September 11 Terrorist Attacks: A Study of Secondary Trauma among New York City Social Workers.pdf

Compassion Fatigue Following the Sept. 11 Terrorist Attacks: A Study of Secondary Trauma among New York City Social Workers

By Boscarino, J. A., Figley, C. R., & Adams, R. E., 2004

I often cite this case study as one of the first sources I found when I began researching to better understand my own experience with secondary trauma. As I read it, I noticed many similarities between the trauma exposure of social workers and teachers, and that led me to search for information specific to how secondary trauma affects educators. What I found in 2019 was that there were/are few studies on the subject as it relates to teachers and school staff.


Addressing Race and Trauma in the Classroom: A Resource for Educators

From the National Child Traumatic Stress Network

This fact sheet from the National Child Traumatic Stress Network provides definitions of historical trauma and racial trauma, and gives insight into the effects of race-based trauma by developmental stage/age. This resource also provides action steps for educators and a host of excellent references to extend your learning.