Tom Hierck

Tom Hierck

Tom Hierck has been an educator since 1983 in a career that has spanned all grade levels and roles in public education.

His experiences as a teacher, administrator, district leader, department of education project leader, and executive director have provided a unique context for his education philosophy.

Minute Musings

I have started a new format to share ideas and get feedback from colleagues. I will post new Minute Musings to this space after each recording. As the name implies, I’ll limit myself to approximately a minute of content and then check the feedback. Check them out and feel free to send any comments my way. Thanks!

TED-X Powell River

Tom was recorded at the Powell River TED-X talk, on his favourite topic “I am the future.”

New Book!

Tom’s new book, “Trauma-Sensitive Instruction” co-authored with John Eller, was written to assist educators with adopting a trauma-sensitive approach to their classroom and school. Read about how to create safe classrooms where students are empowered to build resilience, cope with traumatic experiences, and achieve at high levels. Learn how to cultivate a trauma-informed classroom environment and utilize classroom management strategies to encourage positive learning experiences for trauma-impacted students.

The impact of trauma on learning can be significant and long-lasting. Learn how you can confidently and meaningfully support your trauma-impacted students and foster trauma-informed schools with this accessible resource. The authors draw from their personal and professional experiences with trauma, mental health, and school culture to provide real insight into what you can do now to help learners build resilience, cope with adverse situations, and achieve at high levels.

Implement trauma-informed teaching practices and cultivate a classroom environment that encourages positive learning experiences:

  • Understand childhood trauma and the impact traumatic experiences have on learners.
  • Develop a trauma-informed attitude and mindset.
  • Examine classroom structures that support trauma-sensitive practices while recognizing those that may contribute to trauma.
  • Gain effective classroom management strategies and techniques to support all students, including those experiencing trauma.
  • Learn how to develop trusting and positive relationships with trauma-impacted students and their families.


Here’s what colleagues are saying:

“Trauma-Sensitive Instruction is a must-read for every staff member in schools. This reader-friendly guide offers real-life examples and simple strategies that will enhance your practice as a teacher and have a positive impact on all students. The authors’ knowledge of the impact of trauma and their experiences in education reinforce that when we focus on the needs of individuals, every student can achieve learning at high levels. The quote that resonates with me daily is, ‘The students who challenge us the most, need us the most.’”

James Somerville,
head of department,
Woodcrest State College, Australia

“In a practical yet powerful way, John Eller and Tom Hierck provide a clear understanding of the impact of trauma and the strategies we can use in our schools and classrooms to change a student’s trajectory in life. From their use of school-based scenarios to the reflection questions at the end of each chapter, the authors present the best practices educators need to ensure that not only students from traumatic backgrounds but all students are able to become their best selves.”

Shan Jorgenson-Adam,
assistant superintendent of learning,
Battle River School Division, Alberta, Canada

“Creating a safe and predictable classroom environment has never been more important than in the post-pandemic period we are about to enter. Full of practical guidance, strategies, and tools, Trauma-Sensitive Instruction by John Eller and Tom Hierck, is an invaluable resource for educators at all levels as they prepare to meet the needs of traumatized students. The strategies and tools they offer take trauma-informed instruction to the next level and create a learning experience based on whole-child success.”

Greg Wolcott,
assistant superintendent for teaching and learning,
Woodridge School District 68, Illinois

Contact Tom Hierck ( to order or follow this link.

Other Books

These titles are all available directly from Tom and he can sign them to you or your favourite educator:

Starting a MovementSeven Keys to Positive Learning by Tom Hierck


Tom is a compelling presenter, infusing his message of hope with strategies culled from the real world. He understands that educators face unprecedented challenges and knows which strategies will best serve learning communities.

Tom has presented to schools and districts across North America with a message of celebration for educators seeking to make a difference in the lives of students. His dynamic presentations explore the importance of positive learning environments and the role of assessment to improve student learning. Ongoing support and consultation ensure that the methods to achieve these ends are implemented and upheld over the longer term. His belief that “every student is a success story waiting to be told” has led him to work with teachers and administrators to create positive school cultures and build effective relationships that facilitate learning for all students.

Educational Consulting

Tom has worked with district/division leaders as well as school leaders on the design and implementation of structures and programs that promote effective practice and produce positive results. The initial on-site visits can be followed up by various forms of electronic communication so that ongoing support is available as staff and student populations evolve over time, ensuring the long-term success of districts, schools, and students.