Managing Trauma in the Creative Writing Classroom
The second Words & Verbs City-Wide Professional Development Session addresses how creative writing can at times cause students to share intimate details of their lives, including difficult moments they may have experienced. It is important for educators to be able to recognize and manage trauma as it appears both inside and outside of poetry classes.
About The Workshop
The day will begin with lunch and a creative workshop led by Caroline Rothstein. Then, we will transition into a workshop led by Geoff Kagan Trenchard, where we will be examining the external sources of trauma and its pervasive effect on young people. We’ll look at the neurological and psychological effects of trauma, and how writing and performing work factors into those systems. Our goal is that you leave the workshop with new ideas on how to create safer spaces for students before, during, and after they share their stories and techniques for how to steward the trauma you encounter as an educator.
This workshop would be ideal for teachers who are planning on spearheading the work of Words & Verbs, in addition to a group from your school which could include School Administration and/or Counselors/Social Workers.
Lunch will be provided
Caroline Rothstein is a New York City-based award-winning writer, poet, and performer. She has been performing poetry, facilitating workshops and teaching at colleges, schools and performance venues worldwide for over a decade. Her work has appeared in Cosmopolitan, Marie Claire, BuzzFeed, Narratively, The Forward, and numerous other outlets. Caroline and her work have been featured widely including in The New Yorker, MTV News, Chicago Tribune, The Huffington Post, Mic, Bustle, and Newsweek. She is part of the Creative Writing faculty for Brandeis University’s BIMA precollege summer arts-intensive program, on faculty for the Foundation for Jewish Camp’s annual Cornerstone Fellowship, and is a Youth Mentor at Urban Word NYC. She sits as President Emeritus of the Board of Directors for Mental Fitness, Inc., and has a B.A. in classical studies from the University of Pennsylvania and an M.S. from Columbia University’s Graduate School of Journalism. Learn more at www.carolinerothstein.com.
Geoff Kagan Trenchard: Before transitioning to a career in the law, Geoff Kagan Trenchard taught creative writing in high needs schools, foster care centers, and jails for over 10 years. Geoff is also a nationally recognized poet and theater artist. His work has been featured on HBO, TEDx, and at the Public Theater. His first play, In Spite of Everything, toured internationally as part of the Hip Hop Theater Festival. His first collection of poems, Murder Stay Murder, is available through Penmanship Books. He received his Juris Doctorate from Hofstra School of Law in 2014. As a student, he represented children in abuse and neglect cases, as well as those seeking Special Immigrant Juvenile Status. He was awarded the Charles H. Revson Law Student Public Interest Fellowship, the Bergstrom Child Welfare Law Fellowship, and is a recipient of awards from both the Equal Justice Works and the Public Justice Foundation. He was awarded a Postgraduate Fellowship to serve indigent LGBT asylum seekers with Immigration Equality and help train students in the Hofstra Asylum Clinic. He is currently the Secretary of the New York City Bar Association’s Immigration and Nationality Committee and works with the New Sanctuary Coalition’s free legal clinic.