University of Illinois Extension
Disaster Resources - University of Illinois Extension

Children, Stress, and Natural Disasters
A Guide for Teachers

Implications for Teachers

The disruptions that children experience, and their possible reactions mean that:

  • Some children may not be ready to learn -- emotional distress may get in the way of academic progress.
  • Certain symptoms or learning difficulties may persist for a long time, especially if children are reacting to long-term family disruptions or strains
  • Some of the effects of long-term disruptions may not surface immediately; problems may not surface until weeks, months, or even a year following the disaster
  • Classroom management may be more difficult; teachers may have to deal with regressive, withdrawn, or disruptive behavior
  • Teachers may experience more than the usual stresses and strains in dealing with distressed children

Teachers may face even greater strains if they are having disaster-related difficulties of their own

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