Reach to Teach

The primary purpose of this book is to help educators that teach inner-city students adopt a system of beliefs and practices that will help them better educate their students with compassion and understanding. I provide practical strategies for educators to build and maintain trusting relationships with their students, motivate and engage them in learning, and increase instructional time by decreasing disruptive behaviors. I clearly articulate how to be a culturally competent instructor in an urban Title 1 public school. However, I assert that this information will also be useful to educators in rural settings working with students who are struggling with complex trauma and ACEs.


This book is based on my professional development, Reverse the Adverse. I created the REVERSE framework as a play on adverse childhood experiences because in order to heal, you have to “reverse” the impact that those experiences had by replacing them with more pleasant, loving experiences. This framework organizes each chapter in a manner that helps you understand and build on what you learned from the previous chapter. The REVERSE framework takes you through a journey of becoming trauma-informed to help you better understand how to love your students and do so in practical ways that are beneficial to your learning environment. The R stands for reflection because in order to do trauma-informed work, you have to start with yourself first. Once you have explored your role in your daily interactions with the students and how it impacts learning, we move on to Educate. This is where I delve into what trauma is and the specific types that many urban students face daily. Next is Visualize where you will learn how trauma manifests in schools through different behaviors. Empathize gives you different strategies on how to put yourself in your students’ shoes without feeling sorry for them and wanting to “save” them. Reach goes into how educators can break down the walls that many students have built in order to form trusting relationships so true learning can occur. Strategize gives you a list of what to do when, while Empower gives you tools to give your students hope.