Self Assessment Paradigms Structure Balance
Getting StartedClassSyllabusCommunicateLibraryHelp!
ESE502 : The Class : Structure : Interventions


Interventions provide an opportunity for teachers to assist students to regain perspective or move in a positive direction. They are usually minor corrections, and often provide a positive direction without interrupting the flow of instruction or calling attention to the youth.



change the flow of the lesson or stop for a few minutes to tell a story, to give an example, or in younger grades, to sing a song or ask a riddle.
Proximity :
move closer to the student, and when possible give a positive nonverbal cue, for example, a wink, a smile, eye contact, a gentle touch on the desk of find the right page.
give a positive verbal prompt for work well done or a task begun.
Present the next step in the task, giving volition to the work.

Provide additional information and examples to encourage effort.

Pair students who are having difficulty getting started, and that may spark new interest.

verbal encouragement to give and do one’s best can help a student refocus.


Offer an alternative way for the student to fulfill the objectives
remind the student of requirements and ask how the situation can be altered to make it possible for the student to accomplish the task or discipline the self.
rigorously examine expectations and then maintain the spirit of those ideals
help students to recognize cause and effect, and then utilize natural consequences as often as practical. In every possible instance, develop logical consequences rather than punishment if the natural consequences are too remote, obtuse or detrimental to allow students to suffer them.
build relationship with students, letting them know how important they are personally, and taking every opportunity to express concern and genuine fondness.
Control issues:
NEVER engage in a power struggle with a student. If someone refuses a request, calm yourself, rephrase or redefine the need and then support the student in saving face and making an appropriate response.
Use “I” messages, speak only of the task or behavior, offer help, listen for the context more than the content of the response. For example, ”This assignment is stupid” often means “I can’t do this.” “I hate you” often translates as “I feel cornered.” If it is possible to build enough trust to enable the student to share feelings, work to maintain composure, to listen deeply. Problem solving and ready answers need to come during the next session. The first chat works best if reflected listening is used and the relationship is developed rather than pursuing the work issues.

Once you have finished reading, you should:

Go on to Lesson 4: Structure in the Classroom
Go back to Reading

E-mail J'Anne Ellsworth at


Copyright 1998 Northern Arizona University