Prepare for changes in schedule appropriate to the child.
Base teaching on individual needs.
Preplan for activities and challenges.
Get to know the child.
Provide smaller work settings.
Teach self regulation.
Help student with setting priorities.
Create a safe place for time out.
Encourage self expression.
Provide consequences with empathy.
Develop rituals or routines for organization.
Teach with the brain in mind.
Encourage a child to talk out loud to monitor progress.
Provide a calming down place in the classroom (not a time out).
Provide for sensory needs.
Provide rubrics to assist the child in pacing and monitoring progress both academic and behavioral.
Avoid power struggles.
Have brainstorm sessions for writing ideas.
Provide short writing periods.
Provide rewards for going slowly and carefully, avoiding timed activities whenever possible.
Provide priming for upcoming curriculum.
Use visual clocks, timers, schedules and calendars.
Support a differentiated classroom.
Take care of yourself.
Recognize that some students may need something to fidget with to help them focus.
Say “what can I do to help you?” to a student.
Designate a safe spot in the school for a child to access help, nurturing, comfort.
Agree to disagree.
Consider allowing gum or chew sticks for children who have oral sensory needs.
Accept that the student’s view of the situation may be different from yours, and also still accurate and true.
Accept that when I child says, “you can’t make me”, he is right.
Don’t assume you know what caused an incident, ask what happened.
Accept that some triggers to behavior may have been set in motion before the child stepped into your classroom.
Make “everyone gets what they need” a classroom rule that allows for diversity, accommodation, and individuated instruction where no one is the “special needs” child.
Develop an inside joke with a student to make him/her feel connected to you.
Provide choices to give students a sense of power “do you want to do your math in regular pencil or colored pencil?”
Consider the environment. Is this more stimuli than this student can tolerate?
State directives in terms of the behavior you want, not what you don’t want.
Create an environment of safety in your classroom (no put downs, bullying, everyone is included).
When it’s over, it’s over. Avoid rehashing old events when problem solving with a child.
Speak to a child at eye level.
Avoid yelling or intimidation.
Incorporate drama and art into teaching.
Role play social situations with students to help them to learn and practice social skills.
Diversify your teaching style.
Use as few words as possible, many children check out after the first minute.
Encourage children to self advocate for their needs (break, water, etc.).
Help a child clean up his space; demonstrate organizational skills.
Create a diversion- if a child seems like he is revving up, send him on an important errand.
Provide tactile sensation such as Velcro or felt strips under the desks for students who have trouble sitting still.
Have a child who may have sensory needs with “heavy work”; moving paper boxes, books etc.
Help a child to “save face” in front of his/her peers – give him/her an out creating a win/win.
Encourage children to set goals and self-reflect on their progress.
Consider classroom pacing; is it too fast/slow?
Break down projects into steps; assigning one step at a time to assist children.
Give instructions both orally and visually whenever possible.
Understand that a child may do well in novel, unique or one-on-one situations but have may not yet have the skill to generalize this success to the classroom on a consistent basis.
Look at building skills such as patience and delayed gratification but understand that you may need to scaffold these skills and build them over time.
Divide an assignment into sections on the page and cover up the sections not currently being worked on.
Model an organized classroom and allow 5 minutes for teacher and student organization at the end of a class period.
Allow student movement time.
Use proximity to help a child regulate his/her behavior.
Consider time of day. Most children do best with more difficult tasks in the morning.
Encourage your students to “stop and think”; when asking for a response during whole group instruction, pause for 10-15 seconds before accepting any answers to encourage reflection and discourage impulsivity.
Make consequence and reward as immediate as possible.
Be a voice of optimism in your school.
Evaluate your behavioral interventions frequently and change when necessary; some things may lose their novelty after a time– it doesn’t mean it didn’t work.
Encourage teamwork and inclusion in your classroom.
Notice something positive about your most challenging student each day.
Tell him/her about what you notice (see above).
Give yourself permission to take a time out.
Collect baseline data on student behaviors and academics; sometimes in the middle of the year, it is difficult to remember how far they have come.
Teach empathy by challenging students to take the perspective of others.
Assign projects that help students feel a sense of belonging to the larger community.
Help students to transition to the next school year; introduce them to new teachers and inspire confidence in the child.
Wipe the slate clean each day.
Don’t take it personally; expect that children with mental health issues may let us down occasionally, despite our best efforts.
Use humor, not sarcasm.
Celebrate the small victories.
Provide an area for students to work with minimal stimulus (cubicle).
Consider that some students may be more productive with music and headphones.
Experiment with different classroom configurations.
Recognize the ripple effect of your interactions with children.