Date of Award
Master of Occupational Therapy (MOT)
The purpose of this project was to develop a product, created by occupational therapists, for teachers and support staff that offers behavioral management strategies for students demonstrating anxiety related behaviors in the classroom. Research conducted by Nash, Schlösser, and Scarr (2016) revealed that teachers reported feeling underprepared to not only identify anxiety presenting in the classroom, but also to manage these disruptive behaviors resulting from anxiety. Thus, the product, titled Tips for Teachers, was developed to address this need and to increase collaboration between occupational therapists, teachers, and support staff.
The hierarchical approach utilized in the current behavioral management system has not been found to be effective for students with anxiety as it is rewarding or punishing a student for a skill that they do not possess (Minahan and Schultz, 2015). Tips for Teachers uses the Ecology of Human Performance model (EHP) to organize alternative behavior management strategies into each of the five intervention categories. EHP is a model that helps therapists and other professionals to address individuals with consideration of contextual influences, rather than assuming an individual child is the problem (Sullivan, Johnson, Owens, & Connoway et al., 2014).
The Tips for Teachers in-service and accompanying materials offers background information regarding anxiety, how it may present in the classroom, and how to address symptoms before they become problematic. The materials for this in-service include a
detailed agenda, a facilitator outline, a PowerPoint presentation, a manual, a case study, and a satisfaction survey. The agenda breaks down the timeline and the topics to be covered during the in-service. PowerPoint slides are provided in a facilitator outline format to orient someone to the materials and prompt them through the PowerPoint, in addition to printed PowerPoint slides for the attendees that provide space for notes. The Tips for Teachers manual provides more thorough information and is intended for attendees to have a reference to utilize after the in-service. A case study is included that is intended to be used throughout the in-service for practice applying learned strategies, and a satisfaction survey will be used to determine if the attendees feel as if they benefited from the training.
Burks, Hannah and Kilian-Weides, Kristen, "Occupational Therapy Best Practice Addressing Anxiety-Related Behaviors: Extending Strategies into the Classroom" (2020). Occupational Therapy Capstones. 437.