[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. 


Completing the basic assignments (Section A. Information Acquisition) for this course automatically earns participant’s 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.

None. All reading is online.


A course manual may be downloaded, from the instructor’s website at without charge, once you have registered for this course. Click on classes, from there scroll down the page and click on the orange lettering ‘Manual’ next to the class “Trauma and Loss”. It will download as a PDF. While there is no fee for the manual, you may have to pay in order to order a book from the bibliography. Or, you may borrow one from a friend or check one out at the public library for free.



Assignment #1: Introduction to Class

Answer all the questions on the “Introduction to Class” page.
Send to instructor:  Subject line to read ʻTrauma #1ʼ

Assignment #2: Read the Manual

Read the entire manual for this course.  If taking this course in a group, each person should read the manual. Upon completion, share one or two particular themes that were of particular interest with another educator not taking this class. Write a 1-2 page summary of the conversation.
Send to instructor:  Subject line to read ʻTrauma #2ʼ

Assignment #3: Read Case Study

Read the case study in the manual and answer the questions that follow.  
Send to instructor:  Subject line to read ʻTrauma #3ʼ

Assignment #4: Complete Worksheets

Complete all other worksheets in the manual. They are designated with a “Send To Instructor” in bold letters.  You may scan them or postal mail them.
Send to Instructor:    Subject line to read 'Trauma #4'

Assignment #5: Choose a Book

  • Read a chosen book (from the bibliography at end of manual or a book of your own choosing) and write a two to three (2-3) page paper.  Include the main points from the book, any new information gained from the reading, and ways you can integrate the information into your personal or professional life.
  • If taking this course in a group, each person should read a book, the group should discuss this book with one another, but only one summary is required.

Send to instructor:  Subject line to read ʻTrauma #5ʼ

Assignment #6: Trauma & Students

After reading the article “Trauma and Students” found at the end of the manual, write a one to two (1-2) page paper highlighting several key components from the article.
Send to instructor:  Subject line to read ʻTrauma #6ʼ

Assignment #7: Three Questions to Ask

Talk with two other people (friends, family, co-workers) 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 answers.

Send to instructor:  Subject line to read ʻTrauma #7ʼ

Assignment #8: Describe An Incident

Describe an incident of trauma or loss in your personal or professional 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.​
Send to instructor:  Subject line to read ʻTrauma #8ʼ



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 are not teaching in a classroom, please contact the instructor for course modifications.  If you are a classroom teacher and start or need to complete this course during the summer, please try to apply your ideas when possible with youth from your neighborhood, at a local public library or parks department facility,  (they will often be glad to sponsor community-based learning), or with students in another teacher’s summer classroom in session.

Assignment #9: Keep A Journal

Keep a journal for one week (5 days, minimum one paragraph per day) focusing on any area 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?
Send to instructor:  Subject line to read ʻTrauma #9ʼ

Assignment #10: Share An Experience

Share one situation in the present or past school year where you experienced or observed trauma and loss. Write a 1 – 2 page summary.
Send to instructor:  Subject line to read ʻTrauma #10ʼ

Assignment #11:

Complete one of the assignments below:

Option A)    (SEND commentary to Instructor)

  • 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.
  • The following is encouraged but not required):
  • Share what you’ve learned with other teachers taking our courses by also contributing your Lesson to The Heritage Institute Lesson Library located at

Send to instructor:  Subject line to read ʻTrauma #11A’)


Option B)     (SEND lesson and summary to Instructor)

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, and how this experience relates to the lesson developed.
    (The following is encouraged but not required):
  • Please refer to the guidelines on our blog prior to writing your article.
  • Please email a copy to Yvonne Hall ( THI blog curator and media specialist. 
  • Indicate whether or not you are OK with having your article considered for publishing on our website.
  • Subject line to read: (Course Name, Blog)
    Send to instructor:  Subject Line to read ʻTrauma #11B’)

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 Clock Hrs, PDUs, CEUs, Act 48, 400 and 500 level)

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

  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?

Send to your instructor at their email address. Subject line to read  "(put course name here) Integration Paper"


Please indicate by email to the instructor if you would like to receive comments on your assignments.


Mike Sedler, D.Min., M.S.W. brings over 30 years of educational experience as an administrator, social worker, behavior specialist and teacher to each of his classes.  

He provides consultation services and seminars throughout the United States and Canada for schools, agencies and businesses.  He has been teaching “adult learning classes” since the mid 1980’s and has had the privilege of working for The Heritage Institute for over 25 years. 

He has a graduate degree in Social Work, a Doctoral degree in Ministry, a Counseling license, as well as his teaching certification (K-8).  His combination of classroom experience, behavior intervention approaches, and involvement in working with hundreds of families allows for an excellent blend in all his classes.

Mike is passionate about children and emphasizes the importance of avoiding power struggles, offering options/choices to children, setting clear boundaries and guidelines as well as finding a place of positive engagement and connection with each individual.  His heart for people and emphasis on positive communication are found throughout his seminars and classes.

All of Mike’s classes are practical and “field tested” in schools and classrooms. Educators have found ongoing success in implementing Mike’s clear and concise approaches.



Burns, Donna.  When Kids Are Grieving.  Skyhorse Publishing, 2014.   212-643-6816.  This book helps educator to effectively respond to students that are challenged by trauma and loss. 

Craig, Susan.  Trauma Sensitive Schools.  Teachers College Press, 2015.    1-800-575-6566.  This book provides K-5 education professionals with clear explanations of current research and dozens of practical, creative ideas to help them. 

De Thierry, Betsy.  Teaching The Child on The Trauma Continuum.  Grosvenor House Publishing, 2015  This excellent book explains the continuum of trauma clearly in all its complexity in succinct and straightforward terms, drawing on the latest thinking and research in neuroscience.

Devine, Megan.  It’s OK That You’re Not OK.  Sounds True Publishing, 2017.    800-333-9185.  A first hand account and guidelines for facing your grief.

Goldman, Lind and Kyle Schwartz.  Creating Inclusion and Well-being for Marginalized Students.  Jessica Kingsley Publishers, 2017.   215 922 1161.  Through case studies, the author presents strategies to assist children through shame, trauma, and exclusion.

Howard, Judith.  Distressed and Deliberately Defiant?  Australian Academic Press, 2013.   The study of attachment theory as it impacts behavior and compliance. 

Keck, Gregory.  Parenting the Hurt Child.  Nav Press Publishing, 2009.  800 366 7788.  Recognizing emotional pain and how to support children.

Malone, Pamela.  Counseling Adolescents Through Loss, Grief, and Trauma.  Routledge Press, 2016.   800-634-7064.  Useful book for anyone helping adolescents deal with trauma and loss. 

Rossen, Eric and Robert Hull.  Supporting and Educating Traumatized Students.   Oxford University Press, 2012.  800-445-9714.  A book providing guidance to school, youth and families as they adjust to life from trauma.

Sabatini, Luciano.  Bereavement Counseling n the School Setting.  Boutique of Quality Books, 2012  Or   Strategies to assist people as they process their grief.

Salloum, Alison.  Grief and Trauma in Children: An Evidence Based Treatment Manual. Routledge Press, 2015.  800-634-7064.  A easy to use manual for counseling children through grief and loss. 

Sorrels, Barbara.  Reaching and Teaching Children Exposed to Trauma. Gryphon House Publishers, 2015.   1-800-638-0928.   This book aims to inform the reader on how to identify specific behavior patterns of development that may be unhealthy for the child.  

Thomas, Bonnie.  More Creative Coping Skills For Children: Activities, Games, Stories, and Handouts to Help Children Self-Regulate. Jessica Kingsley Publishers, 2016.   215-922-1161.  Concrete and creative tools to help children monitor their own behavior.

Zacarian, Debbie and Lourdes Alvarez-Ortiz.  Teaching To Strengths: Supporting Students Living with Trauma, Violence, and Chronic Stress. ASCD, 2017.   1-800-933-2723.  A comprehensive, collaborative approach to teaching that focuses on students' strengths and resiliency.