This study examines preservice teacher coursework and interview data related to encountering student trauma, secondary trauma, and the role of self-care during clinical placement experiences.
A thematic analysis of the data led to the identification of four main themes: the power of student stories, recognition of the many forms of trauma, preservice teacher burnout, and barriers to integrating self-care.
Additionally, the authors’ analysis revealed the ways in which preservice teachers experienced secondary trauma as a consequence of forming relationships with students and listening to their stories.
Some of the effects of this secondary trauma were mitigated by engaging in self-care, but those preservice teachers who felt they failed at supporting their personal wellness experienced burnout.
More troubling, only one preservice teacher recognized self-care’s connection to trauma-informed teaching.
The authors’ findings reveal the importance of infusing content on trauma, secondary trauma, and self-care in teacher education coursework and the need to provide professional development on trauma-informed teaching for clinical placement school sites.