Working in schools characterized by poverty and low student achievement can be stressful for the teachers and can lead to teacher emotional exhaustion and burnout. These teachers often report a lack of training on effective ways to support the emotional needs of children. This study reports the findings of the first year of a 3-year program evaluation that examined the impact of child–teacher relationship training (CTRT) on teachers’ stress, perception of children, social justice attitudes, and ability to demonstrate the CTRT skills in the classroom at a school identified as 1 of 3 schools in the state to institute a trauma-informed program. This phenomenological pilot study explored the experiences of 4 kindergarten teachers who participated in child–teacher relationship training. The teachers worked in a school identified to participate in a statewide resilience project because of the high percentage of children in the school who lived in poverty. The qualitative analysis identified 5 themes regarding their experience: training, skills, developing relationships, obstacles/challenges, and commitment. Limitations, directions for future research, and implications for school-based play therapists and school counselors are discussed.
Provide information about a how a child-teacher relationship training research project was conducted in a school characterized by poverty and low student achievement.
Provide information about infusing issues of social justice intro CTRT.
Provide information about the experiences of four kindergarten teachers who participated in the training.