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Mental Health Consultation:

Enhancing Classroom Participation

Astor Mental Health Clinician (MHC), Ana was assigned a consultation with a 6th-grade special education classroom that had been identified as being particularly difficult to manage and whose teachers were having consistent difficulties engaging students and implementing intervention strategies. 

Ana engaged the classroom with the support of the school administration and guidance department. 

Upon first encountering the classroom, Ana observed students: 

After three structured observations, Ana met with the classroom team for a feedback session. The teachers were eager to hear what was observed – but focused on student’s difficulties, probed for diagnoses and medical treatment, and various ways to “fix” the children. 

Ana was able to shift the conversation to a discussion on behavior as a communication skill, and looking for ways to empower and teach students. 

Given a new lens, the teachers were motivated to utilize new strategies in the classroom which now include: 

Since the implementation of these strategies, there has been a notable decrease in aggression in the classroom. Fights have decreased by approximately 60% and the class is now engaged in physical education. 

Class and homework have been completed more consistently, and it has been observed that students are more readily asking for help when they require assistance. 

The classroom staff report increased satisfaction not only related to their academic work with students, but greater success in engaging their classroom as a whole. Substantial gains were made in a short period of time and sustained during the year through booster interventions, group discussions, and ongoing consultation. 

 

Read the entire 2016-2017 Annual Report