Support and encouragement

The presence of a supportive teacher can enhance a student’s ability to better manage stress and build resilience. A strong teacher-student relationship can provide immediate feedback when students have experienced stressful situations and an opportunity for the teacher to intervene early and effectively.

Build positive student-teacher connections

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By listening, respecting and validating the student’s experience, provide reassurance, remind of support available and encourage positive actions.

Foster positive emotions

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Foster hope and optimism by creating a positive learning environment where students have a voice and choice, feel physically and emotionally safe.

Explicitly teach skills

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Teaching self-awareness, self-management, social awareness, relationship skills and responsible decision-making to help students develop independence and confidence.

Foster resilience

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By providing students with strategies for coping with social and academic pressures to help them maintain a sense of control needed to bounce back from challenges.

Give choices

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Some students like to tackle challenging tasks first, while others might prefer to then ease into tougher tasks. Let students choose which activities to complete first. Giving students some control over their schedule shows that you respect each student’s individuality, strengths, and needs.

Encourage active learning

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Use hands-on activities to get all students engaged in learning. Assign students small group and project-based assignments that promote active and collaborative learning to enhance student relationships.

Identify and build on natural strengths

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Using natural strengths of the student to build confidence, competence, a strong sense of self-worth and a sense of meaning and purpose.

Boost participation

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Give all students opportunities to respond in class, to get every student more actively engaged with the lesson and to increase the amount of positive reinforcement they will receive. Allow students with different strengths and needs to respond in different ways, such as speaking instead of writing and vice versa.

Rethink grading

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For students who have extensive support needs, traditional grading systems probably will not be the best way to show what they can do. Consider alternative grading approaches that more meaningfully capture the progress students are making toward their goals.

Build in practice time

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Be sure to give students opportunities to practice new skills throughout the day and in different settings. This will help them master those skills more quickly and use them when needed.

If the behaviour persists despite trying a number of interventions, discuss the student’s situation with a supervisor or member of the learning and wellbeing support staff at your school.

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