The past academic year was challenging for students, faculty, and staff at UWM. While the campus community creatively mobilized to remotely carry out our mission of teaching, research, and service, it is also clear that the pandemic had a varying and often traumatic impact on the campus community. Student responses to the spring 2021 COVID survey show eagerness for campus to “return to normal,” but also trepidation about what “normal” should be, given the ways the pandemic has impacted our sense of safety and normalcy overall. Student and faculty are experiencing anxiety about health and mental health and questioning whether they will be able to find community on campus. These feelings are likely to be particularly true for first-year students.
In recognition of these circumstances, the campus healing and community-building work group, led by Student Affairs, Academic Affairs, and Global Inclusion and Engagement, has developed this Trauma-Informed Teaching Toolkit. The Toolkit utilizes resources from the national higher education community, as well as materials developed here at UWM. It will help instructors gain awareness of how trauma can impact students (what to look for) and how to respond. These same lessons can also help faculty and staff to interact with their colleagues who may be feeling stresses in the post-COVID period.