[semester equivalent = 4.00 credits]



Michael Sedler



Trauma and loss are constant companions for many of today’s children.  Whether it is divorce, death of a loved one, abandonment, abuse, rejection, or a multitude of other difficult scenarios, many of our students must process emotions at a deeper level than in years past.  This class will help each educator to understand the depth of loss and strategies to assist the child that is processing this grief.  We will explore interventions to help the child find the school as a support system as well as encourage their academic progress.  Participants will learn several different formats for the stages of grief, interventions to support students who are struggling with anxiety, grief and depression as well as understanding the characteristics and stages of emotional and moral development in students. This course will share ideas to increase motivation and attention for these children while "coming alongside them" in encouragement and compassion.  

This course is appropriate for all students and educators (P-12) including administrators, counselors, psychologists, social workers, nurses, and other support services.

Course workbook is free and downloadable from the instructorʼs website after registration. Cost of text will vary depending upon your choice and bookseller selected.

LEARNING OUTCOMES: Upon completion of this course, participants will have:

  1. The skills to identify various moods and emotions for children.
  2. The understanding to prepare an action plan for each child that will increase his/her success within the school system.
  3. The knowledge on how to approach children who are suffering from trauma and loss and provide support and encouragement.
  4. The ability to identify necessary resources for children and develop a strong community referral system.
  5. The knowledge to develop lessons that are emotionally supportive to children as well as cognitively challenging.
  6. The understanding to assist a child in his/her personal decision making process and develop effective alternatives for life.

Completion of all specified assignments is required for issuance of hours or credit. The Heritage Institute does not award partial credit.

The use of artificial intelligence is not permitted. Assignment responses found to be generated by AI will not be accepted.

Completing the basic assignments (Section A. Information Acquisition) for this course automatically earns participants their choice of CEUs (Continuing Education Units), Washington State Clock Hours, Oregon PDUs, or Pennsylvania ACT 48 Hours. The Heritage Institute offers CEUs and is an approved provider of Washington State Clock Hours, Oregon PDUs, and Pennsylvania ACT 48 Hours.



Continuing Education Quarter credits are awarded by Antioch University Seattle (AUS). AUS requires 75% or better for credit at the 400 level and 85% or better to issue credit at the 500 level. These criteria refer both to the amount and quality of work submitted.

  1. Completion of Information Acquisition assignments 30%
  2. Completion of Learning Application assignments 40%
  3. Completion of Integration Paper assignment 30%


CREDIT/NO CREDIT (No Letter Grades or Numeric Equivalents on Transcripts)
Antioch University Seattle (AUS) Continuing Education Quarter credit is offered on a Credit/No Credit basis; neither letter grades nor numeric equivalents are on a transcript. 400 level credit is equal to a "C" or better, 500 level credit is equal to a "B" or better. This information is on the back of the transcript.

AUS Continuing Education quarter credits may or may not be accepted into degree programs. Prior to registering, determine with your district personnel, department head, or state education office the acceptability of these credits for your purpose.



You may choose a book from the Bibliography OR Select a relevant book on your own, with my prior approval.
The Bibliography is located at the end of the syllabus. 
Text books may be ordered directly from the publisher (see the list/emails at the back of your manual), online, or through bookstores. 

None. All reading is online.


A course manual may be downloaded, from the instructor’s website at There is no charge of the manual. Click on classes, from there scroll down the page and click on the orange lettering ‘Manual’ next to the class “The Impact of Trauma...”. It will download as a PDF. While there is no fee for the manual, you may have to pay to order a book from the bibliography or one of your own choosing. Or, you may borrow one from a friend or check one out at the public library for free.



Assignments done in a course forum will show responses from all educators who have or are taking the course independently. Feel free to read and respond to others' comments. 
Group participants can only view and respond to their group members in the Forum. 

Assignment #1: Read The Manual

Read the entire manual.  Do the Introductory page (pg. 10) and send a one page summary of your answers. Everyone taking the class, including in groups, must complete this assignment.

Assignment #2: Read Your Chosen Book

Read a book from the bibliography or one of student's choice. If taking this course in a group, each person should read a book.  Only one person needs to write a summary. 

Critique the book based on personal experiences and insights.  Write a 2-3 page paper.

Assignment #3: Read Case Study

Read the case study in the manual (p.23) and answer the questions at the end of each one.  Write a 1-2 page synopsis of your answers.  

Assignment #4: Complete Designated Worksheets

Complete the following pages:

a)  Human Grief (pgs. 19-20)   1-2 page summary.
b)  Action plan for taking care…(pg. 26)   1-2 page summary.
c)  Keys to Healing (p. 38)   1 page summary.

Assignment #5: Do Coping Skills Page

Read the Six Coping Strategies (p. 39).  Discuss it with another educator.  Choose one area you currently do or would like to do with a student.  Write a one page summary of your plan.

Assignment #6: Trauma & Students Article

 After reading the article “Trauma and Students” found at the end of the manual (pgs. 46-49).  Write a two page paper highlighting several key components from the article.

Assignment #7: Three Questions to Ask Of Others

Talk with two other people and ask them the following questions:

1)  How does loss or trauma impact you?
2)  What do you do to help to work through the pain and grief of these areas?
3)  What can others do to assist a person when they are walking through the pain of trauma?

Write a two (2) page summary of the responses and your thoughts on these questions.

Assignment #8: Describe An Incident

Describe an incident of trauma or loss in your personal life.  How was it handled? In what ways could the approach have been better according to what you've learned in this course?  Share this with another person and write a 1-2 page summary. 



In this section, you will apply your learning to your professional situation. This course assumes that most participants are classroom teachers who have access to students. If you do not have a classroom available to you, please contact the instructor for course modifications. Assignments done in a course forum will show responses from all educators who have or are taking the course independently. ​Feel free to read and respond to others' comments. Group participants can only view and respond to their group members in the Forum. 


Assignment #9: Keep A Journal

Keep a journal for 5 days (minimum one paragraph per day) focusing on any areas of trauma or loss personally experienced or seen on television, in a movie, in a book, magazine, newspaper, etc.  What was the impact of this trauma upon people? If it was resolved, how did this occur?  Write a 2 page summary of your journal.

Assignment #10: Share A School Experience

Share one situation in the present or past school year where you experienced or observed trauma and loss.  This should be different from Assignment #9. Write a 1 – 2 page summary. 

Assignment #11: Lesson Plan

Complete one of the assignments below:

Assignment #A:

Develop a lesson to reflect what you’ve learned in this course.
Implement your lesson with students in your classroom.
Write a 2 page commentary on what worked well and what could be improved.
Include any student feedback on your lesson.


Assignment #B: 

Use this option if you do not have a classroom available.

Develop a lesson to reflect what you’ve learned in this course. (Do not implement it.)
Write a 2 page summary concerning any noteworthy success you’ve had as a teacher with one or more students.

Assignment #12: (500 Level ONLY)

Option A)
Choose another book from the bibliography and write a 2-3 page summary.
Send to instructor:  Subject line to read ʻTrauma #12aʼ                                                                                                      OR
Option B)

Create a PowerPoint presentation for your staff, based on this course, that focuses on perspectives or strategies you feel would be beneficial for your school. Save this as a PDF.
Send to instructor:  Subject line to read ʻTrauma #12bʼ                                                                                                       OR
Option C)

Another assignment of your own design, with the instructorʼs prior approval.
Send to instructor:  Subject line to read ʻTrauma #12cʼ


Assignment #13: (Required for 400 and 500 level)

(Please do not write this paper until you've completed all of your other assignments)

Write a 400-500 word Integration Paper answering these 5 questions:

  1. What did you learn vs. what you expected to learn from this course?
  2. What aspects of the course were most helpful and why?
  3. What further knowledge and skills in this general area do you feel you need?
  4. How, when and where will you use what you have learned?
  5. How and with what other school or community members might you share what you learned?


Instructors will comment on each assignment. If you do not hear from the instructor within a few days of posting your assignment, please get in touch with them immediately.


Mike Sedler, M.S.W., D. Min., brings over 40 year of educational experience as a special education director, social worker, behavior specialist and teacher to each of his classes.   He provides consultation and seminars throughout the United States and Canada for schools, agencies and businesses. He has a graduate degree in Social Work, a Doctoral degree in Ministry, a Counseling license, as well as his teaching certification. Mike has worked with children of all ages, specifically with children exhibiting behavioral challenges, mental health concerns, and characteristics of Autism Spectrum Disorder.  In addition, he taught general education classes in the elementary school and middle school arenas.   All of Mikeʼs classes are practical and “field tested” in schools and classrooms. Educators have found success in implementing Mikeʼs clear and concise approaches. All of his course material may be immediately implemented into a school or a home.



You may choose a book from this list or one of your own choosing that is compatible to this course.  Please let the instructor know if you choose a book that is not on this list.

Attached, Emily and Fernandez, Marzia.  Mental Health Workbook.  Audio book, 2020.  Amazon Books  This book helps ones to understand anxiety, attachment and recovery from struggles.  (P-12).

Colker, Laura and Erdman, Sarah.  Trauma and Young Children.  National Association for the Education of Young Children, 2020.  This book provide specific strategies to mitigate and buffer the effects of toxic stress on young children.  (P-12).  

Fisher, Douglas and Frey, Nancy.  Teaching Hope and Resilience For Students Experiencing Trauma.  Teachers College Press, 2019. The impact of trauma on students.  (grades P-12).   

Goldman, Lind and Kyle Schwartz.  Creating Inclusion and Well-being for Marginalized Students.  Jessica Kingsley Publishers, 2017.  Through case studies, the author presents strategies to assist children through shame, trauma, and exclusion. (grades P-12)  

Heineman, Mary Ellen.  Resolving Your Child’s Challenging Behavior.  Brookes Publishing, 2022.  Strategies to connect with children in the midst of difficulties. (P-8).

Hurley, Katie.  The Depression Workbook for Teens.  Althea Press, 2019.  A workbook to help teens work through feelings of depression  (grades 7-12). 

McGuiness, Sheri.  Choosing Hope, Finding Joy.    Sojourn Publishing, 2016.  Personal story of loss and family dealing with it. (grades P-12).  

Phifer, Lisa and Sibbald, Laura.  Trauma-Informed Social Emotional Toolbox.  Pesi Publishing, 2020.  Empower children and adolescents to cope with trauma and build resiliency.  (P-12)  

Rosier, Tamara.  Your Brain’s Not Broken.  Revell, 2021.      A book that explains ‘why you act and feel’ the way you do.  (7-12 grades).

Schonfeld, David and Quackenbush, Marcia.  The Grieving Student.  Brookes Publishing, 2021.  How to provide sensitive support to students.  (P-12).

Trenton, Nick.  Stop Overthinking: 23 Techniques to Relieve Stress and Negative Spirals.  How to get out of the loop of negative thinking and patterns.  Independently published, 2021.

Zacarian, Debbie and Lourdes Alvarez-Ortiz.  Teaching To Strengths: Supporting Students Living with Trauma, Violence, and Chronic Stress. ASCD, 2017.    A comprehensive, collaborative approach to teaching that focuses on students' strengths and resiliency.