Erin E. Silcox B.S., M.A., & Principal Certificate My name is Erin E. Silcox and I am a Ph. D. student in Literacy Education, looking at the intersections of trauma, literacy, anti-racism, and equity. I want to know the best ways to combine trauma-informed practices and literacy instruction to support all students and humanize the classroom.
For over ten years, I worked as a teacher and/or school principal at a wilderness therapy residential treatment center for at-risk teen boys. On average, our students came to us at least 2 years below grade level and left having made significant academic gains, evidenced by improvements of 2 or more grade levels in one year's time. Through intuition, trial and error, formal training, and collaboration with high quality therapeutic and educational staff, I developed a repertoire of tools for inviting these jaded teens back into the world of literacy. Students who came in saying, "I don't read," could be seen mere weeks later toting a book around campus. Students started to use literacy as catharsis and make academic improvements in a natural way.
With experience in the field of trauma and education, I turned recently to the world of academia to both grow and disseminate my knowledge base. Currently, as I approach my bigger research question, I also investigate what teachers need to know (and don't need to know) about trauma and what approaches they can take to support trauma-affected youth. So far, I'm that literacy education is shifting to be more human, more equitable, and more trauma-informed, but there is still so far to go. This website is a tool for teachers to become trauma-informed and to develop a toolkit for pedagogy and relationship building. I am here to support educators as they support trauma-affected youth.