Transformative Principal
Discover the secrets of school leadership in this weekly interview podcast with top leaders in education.


Dr. Barbara is Executive Director of The Institute for Childhood Education, a professional development and consulting firm for those who live and work with children.

  • Barbara started rocking abandoned babies when she was in high school in Washington, D.C.
  • First year teaching was in the inner city.
  • The role of spirituality and faith in children.
  • Faith community is a resilience factor.
  • Faith enables us to have connection.
  • Children have innate understanding of God.
  • When you have that child standing in front of you that can sometimes get on your last nerve, ask not what is wrong with you, but what has happened to you?
  • Impacts us at the cellular level.
  • I look at you with compassion for your story.
  • The kids’ history has told them that the world is not a safe place.
  • “Children act out“ in behavior what they do not have the words to say.
  • How much do we need to know about student’s trauma?
  • The trauma determines the impact.
  • The behavior speaks for itself.
  • Need to look at trauma with a broader lens.
  • What happens inside a child’s body when they experience trauma.
  • FAE and Pre-natal drug exposure impacts organization of brain.
  • Most vulnerable time is in-utero and first two months of life as it relates to brain development.
  • Dr. Perry and neurotransmitters.
  • ADHD medication manipulates one of the three neurotransmitters.
  • Dendrites on neurons related to quality and health of early life.
  • Trauma can interrupt two hemispheres of the brain.
  • Memory, language, using symbols can be compromised by trauma.
  • Moral classrooms, moral children.
  • Children with trauma will only thrive in a community.
  • Developmentally appropriate practice with kids exposed to trauma - Narrow window of strategies.
  • Children with significant trauma act at half their chronological age.
  • Active learning engagement for kids exposed to trauma.
  • Primary strategy is a do-over or reboot. “Let’s try that again!” - may need to model that first.
  • Goal is not to manage behavior but to heal them from inside out.
  • Ignore the no and give two choices!
  • Cozy corner: “You let me know when you’re ready to go back to class.“
  • Simply changing the location is sometimes enough.
  • Pattern, repetitive movement is calming to the brain.
  • Wet washcloth is a tangible symbol of empathy.
  • How to be a transformative principal? When you see those children who are struggling, remind yourself it’s not about what’s wrong with you, but about what’s happened to you. I know who you are.

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Please follow me on Twitter: @jethrojones for the host and @TrnFrmPrincipal for the show.

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