CAPE GIRARDEAU, Mo. (KFVS) - Cape Girardeau Public School educators are changing the way they’re teaching to decrease detentions and increase students’ future successes.
“You’re here to teach students, and you’re here to teach people. You’re not just a score. You’re a person, and we’re trying to make you a better person to be successful,” said Zech Payne, director of Central Academy with Cape Girardeau Public Schools.
According to Payne, the need for a change in teaching mindsets and methods couldn’t be ignored anymore.
“When you see a kid yelling and screaming this that and the third, but that’s really a response from a traumatic incident that happened years ago. Or if they’ve got their parents that’s cussing in the house every single day because of the trauma they’ve faced growing up, they pass it down to their children,” said Ronald Coleman, student service coordinator at Cape Girardeau Public Schools.
Starting the 2019-2020 school year, the district will be a trauma-informed school district. This means teachers will focus on finding the root of problems in the classroom and create genuine relationships with students. It also opens communication with parents and guardians, creating a teamwork attitude.
District leaders will start implementing the program first in Central Middle School, Central Junior High, and Central Academy, then slowly branch out over the next several years.
“Trying to zero in ya know coping skills, on how to deal with trigger, how to dig up some of those things they have went through,” said Coleman.
Payne said one main cause for issues at school is the cycle of poverty in the area.
“Typically what you find out is the students that are the most challenging have the most going on in their home life, in their environment that they need help with, and it’s one of the things that as a community we all have to be on the same page,” said Payne.
But both Coleman and Payne feel this new teaching method will make a huge difference.
“Attendance is rising up. Kids are happier. They feel safe at school. They’re excited to be at school every day, and then that makes them a better person forever,” said Payne.