Two Rules is the foundation of building more than feeling good and safe. The Two Rules philosophy is a promise to students that their welfare is the center of a school’s culture: Everyone will feel good in this school and everyone will feel safe in this school. It is also a request that students work to ensure that both of these statements are true every day. Let me provide you with more of the depth to the work it will do as you adopt the practices.
Adopting a trauma-informed approach is a comprehensive process that cannot be achieved through a singular technique or checklist. It necessitates continuous attention, compassionate awareness, sensitivity, and potentially a cultural shift at the organizational level. It is crucial to engage in ongoing internal assessments and quality improvement within the organization, as well as actively involve community stakeholders. By embedding this approach, organizational development and practice can be enhanced to ensure improvement.
When discussing trauma, it becomes apparent that it holds various meanings for different individuals, ranging from mild to extreme levels. However, trauma is not merely an isolated event—it lingers. It can affect individuals in such a way that they are uncertain when a memory of the traumatic experience might resurface. Furthermore, in some cases, trauma is a daily occurrence for certain individuals.
Addressing trauma involves providing practices that prioritize physical, emotional, spiritual, and cultural safety for those who have experienced such trauma. It is essential to acknowledge that everyone, without exception, has experienced trauma, particularly during the global pandemic. This period brought about multiple levels of trauma that affected individuals at different degrees, but it was a shared experience for all.
The Two Rules Philosophy serves as a foundation to support the implementation of a trauma-informed approach in addressing the needs of all children. This philosophy revolves around cultivating a culture that emphasizes both feeling good and feeling safe. By collaboratively working as a cohesive unit comprising schools, homes, and the wider community, the physical, emotional, spiritual, and cultural safety of individuals can be effectively addressed. This collaborative effort ensures that the needs of those affected by trauma are met in a comprehensive manner.
I want to make it clear, just as I have to my students, staff, families, and the communities I have served, that poor choices in behavior cannot be excused by offering an excuse; they can only be explained. Every action must be met with a corresponding reaction, but it is crucial to understand that the response to these actions is not merely a knee-jerk reaction. Instead, it should be a thoughtful and considered response that takes into account the unique needs and circumstances of those involved. Each situation requires a tailored approach, ensuring that the responses are appropriate and conducive to growth and understanding. The Two Rule Philosophy helps guide students through utilizing problem solving and gaining many skills to help them before they make a choice which results as a problem.