Inclusive Teacher Strategies

Provide routine and structure

Visual cues or schedules can let students know what is coming up, and how they should transition from one activity to another.
Students who find moving from one activity to another hard will feel less unsettled if they are aware it is coming up. Provide clear instructions about the transition.

Tailor activities to be as inclusive as possible

This can help students focus and learn. Frequent breaks may also help.
Concrete examples, simplified text, visual instructions and demonstrations, breaking tasks into smaller components, using a variety of teaching approaches, and providing alternate ways for students to respond are some of the ways this can be achieved.
Materials that cater to varying grip strength, mobility and hand-eye coordination can help include students of different abilities, and computer-assisted instruction can also be helpful.
Allow a student to take the time they need to respond or engage in an activity.
Check that you have all students’ attention when giving instructions, and check their understanding of those instructions. Reduce distractions through careful arrangement of the classroom and consideration of seating.

Provide a safe space (physically and emotionally)

Consider providing positive feedback and correcting immediately when students are learning a task or behaviour. This can be gradually reduced as they become more capable.
Consider providing a quiet area that a student can go to if upset. This space could include items that may help a student calm down, such as sensory supports.
Providing support and encouragement helps a student achieve better results. Focus on a student’s strengths and show a student that they are valued and supported.

Give lots of practise opportunities

Time to practise in different settings and with different materials can help students learn to use that skill in other situations and places.
This helps students to learn tasks and may be more helpful than offering many tasks with little opportunity to practise.
When a task is new, students usually learn best with help (i.e. prompts, demonstrations, encouragement). Help can be gradually reduced as they become more capable. Help can be provided by teachers or other students.

Promote peer interaction

Students can get to know each other and build friendships through working together. Students can also learn through watching others. Consider ways in which you can facilitate a student’s interactions with others in a group.
Where possible, aim to keep students as part of the group, rather than in separate areas working with specialists.
Teach students how to interact with each other. This may involve teaching them how to use different styles of communication, or how to include another student.
Students may be self-conscious about support provided, particularly throughout the teenage years. Developmentally appropriate and discrete support that builds student autonomy may increase confidence and support peer interactions.

Support social, emotional and problem solving skill development

Consider prompting students to develop social behaviours.
Identifying the cause of a student’s behaviour can help both the educator and the student feel less frustrated.
Teach students how to find solutions to challenges they face, and how to seek help.
Express empathy, and help students to name what they are feeling. Support them with facing fears gradually, at a level they can manage. Relaxation exercises can help students feel calm.
Students may need explicit instructions and support to learn organisation, locker management, study skills, note taking, time management and homework management skills.
Consider giving students a checklist of behaviours or skills that they would like to work on (e.g. including a range of persuasive writing techniques in their piece). Prompt them to check off the list throughout the lesson.

Collaborate with others

Set up a system for regular communication with parents about their teenager's unique strengths, preferences, and abilities. This includes support they feel their teenagers needs and the best methods of communication.
There may be various health professionals involved in supporting the student. Working together can lead to a shared understanding of the student, their goals, and strengths-based strategies that are consistent across other environments like home and the community.
Work with the student and their parents as well as the professionals supporting the student to set some specific and measurable outcomes. Aim to set outcomes that focus on the student’s strengths and are challenging enough to support learning and social development. From Year 7, goals should be set related to skills that will support post-secondary transition.