Teacher reading with an elementary student on the floor

A Path Toward Student Resilience

Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs) are traumatic childhood events caused by abuse, neglect, or other often persistent household stressors.


The Potential Impact of ACE’s

Adverse childhood experiences increase the risk a child might be exposed to some of the following health and social problems. These issues can have dramatic impacts on learning, relationships, and mental/physical health, now and in the future.

Blue circle with white bottle outline, representing Alcoholism


Blue Circle with Brain outline, representing "Decreased Cognitive Ability"

Decreased Cognitive Ability

Blue circle with graduation hat outline, representing "Poor Academic Achievement"

Poor Academic Achievement

Blue circle with gauge outline, representing "Poor Work Performance"

Poor Work Performance

Blue circle with pill outline, representing "Illicit Drug Use"

Illicit Drug Use

Blue circle with outline of fetus, representing "Adolescent Pregnancy"

Adolescent Pregnancy

Blue circle with frustrated figure outline, representing "Depression and Suicide"

Depression and Suicide

There is hope through resilience.

Resilience does not eliminate risks and stress, but gives students a path to deal with them effectively.

What is resilience?

“Resilience comes through the counter-balancing of the difficult things that may exist in the child’s life with positive things that occur within the family/community. When positive experiences accumulate and students learn coping skills that help them to manage stress, students can increase their chances for positive outcomes. That’s what resilience is all about.”

– Center on the Developing Child at Harvard

A Leader in Me instructor teaches a group of students using blocks and hand gestures.

Trauma Informed Principles

While Leader in Me is not a trauma intervention per se, the changes that come through implementation create the foundation necessary to effectively care for students facing trauma and its consequences. Leader in Me practices support application of the six principles identified by The National Center for Trauma-Informed Care (NCTIC) as necessary to address ACEs and facilitate healing and resilience.

NCTIC Principle

Leader in Me Practices

Leader in Me Research Evidence

Safety LiM empowers educators with paradigms and practices necessary in identifying and improving dimensions of their school’s physical, social, and emotional culture that most directly impact feelings of safety. LiM “helps to build a positive school climate… it creates conditions in which teachers relate and communicate more effectively to students, work more collaboratively with one another in planning and coordinating lessons, and spend less instructional time dealing with behavior issues.” – Corcoran, Reily, & Ross. John Hopkins University,2014
Trustworthiness and Transparency LiM professional learning helps teachers develop productive learning environments by proactively building trusting relationships with students and fostering trust among students. “At least 85% of the [LiM] students indicated agreement that their teacher cared about them, they liked going to the school, and they are learning a lot.” – ROI Institute, 2014 (p. 6)
Peer Support Adults in LiM schools teach and model positive social behaviors to students. Students apply these behaviors to their peer relationships in ways that promote mutual support and develop high-trust. “The Leader in Me has positively impacted peer relationships” – Dr. C. Tidd. Walden University, 2016 (p. 42)
Collaboration and Mutuality Adults in LiM schools teach and model positive social behaviors to students. Students apply these behaviors to their peer relationships in ways that promote mutual support and develop high trust. Teachers and students reported that after implementing Leader in Me the “classroom became a safe environment where all students felt comfortable pursuing goals.” – Baldwin, et al. The College of Saint Rose, 2012 (p. 8)
Empowerment, Voice, and Choice LiM helps educators create environments where student voice and choice are a part of the learning culture and empowering instructional techniques aid in academic achievement as well as self-advocacy and problem solving. Teachers working with low-income students indicated a hope that their students would “have [their leadership skills] be what defines them and not the circumstances in their lives.” Similarly, for some students, “the leadership skills being taught became a source of possible empowerment and the ability to perhaps improve their lives.” – Evans. Virginia Commonwealth University, 2014(p. 106)
Cultural, Historical, and Gender Issues The habits of interpersonal effectiveness practiced in LiM schools help students and adults develop awareness, respect, and openness to others, especially for those who may be different, and in times of conflict. Leader in Me professional learning “help educators in better preparing students to be responsible individuals who use their leadership skills to positively impact their own learning and school and community cultures.” – Caracelo. Walden University, 2012 (p. 3)


Is Leader in Me Right for You?

 Learn how thousands of schools in over 50 countries worldwide are discovering answers to some of the most challenging issues educators face today.

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