Date
23 July 2024

Manage times of stress or change

Plan ahead to manage times of stress or challenge.

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Communicate with parents

Communicate with parents

Communicate regularly with the student’s family.

Work together to prepare the student for changes in routines, moving to new classes, and moving out of school.

Prepare for new and unfamiliar situations

Prepare for new and unfamiliar situations

Prepare students for change and new situations. New situations may include things such as changing schools, starting a new programme or going on school camp.
  • If possible, arrange for the student to visit the new space prior to the start date.
  • Show photos or videos of the new space.
  • Prepare a video, presentation, or scrapbook for the student to revisit frequently.
  • Discuss the student’s concerns regarding the change.
  • Use social stories to 'practise' for the new situation.
  • Arrange for the student to meet one or two key people or staff members who will be involved with them.
  • Visit locations that may be new or different, such as the gymnasium or the bus stop.
  • Arrange a buddy that the student knows well to help the student negotiate his or her way around new spaces.
  • Discuss the new routines and create visuals to support them.

Prepare students ahead of time

Prepare students ahead of time

To help a student prepare for their first school camp, students at Houghton Valley School made a book using digital photos with simple captions. 

Pay attention to specific needs or sensitivities

Pay attention to specific needs or sensitivities

Make a point of understanding particular stressors for children and young people.

Ask students and their whānau:

  • What situations create stress, such as certain types of noise, changes in routines, pain, or discomfort?
  • What can you as the teacher do differently to remove or minimise stress points?
  • What can we change in the classroom or school environment to reduce stress points?
  • How can the student help themselves to return to a calm state if they become stressed?

Manage pressure points

Manage pressure points

I hate going into the cloakroom in the morning as there is lots of pushing and shoving.

Mr Jack noticed that I was always grumpy first thing in the morning so he talked to me and my mum and we decided that I would come to class first and then go and hang up my bag after the bell.

Now I come into class happy and complete my handwriting without hurting others beside me.

Student (NZ)

Support time management

Support time management

Introduce tools such as visual timers to reduce surprise that an activity is over or to signal that a transition is coming.

Next steps

Return to the guide “Behaviour and learning”

Guide to Index of the guide: Behaviour and learning

Strategies for action:

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