Depression is a mental illness which manifests in feelings such as sadness, irritability and hopelessness. Depression is treatable with medication and counselling. Teachers need to be aware of specific triggers and plan accommodations and modifications which create a supportive learning environment.
Break worksheets into small, manageable and engaging sections.
Incorporate checklists and goal-setting structures to motivate.
Follow a consistent routine in design of handouts to avoid frustration.
Provide unit outlines and outcomes so that students can see the relevance of materials and tasks.
Frequently revise to account for concentration difficulties and short-term memory problems.
Provide prompt support to prevent frustration.
Allow students to respond in a preferred style – some may have difficulty with oral presentations.
Teach student s to plan assignments and essays in advance.
Teach organisational strategies- incorporate graphic organisers.
Avoid singling out the student with depression from the rest of the class.
Develop routines and rituals which are conducive to learning.
Maintain a positive tone- use humour but not sarcasm.
Flexible deadlines – student may need help to plan, organise and execute tasks.
Offer specific and positive feedback – be aware of student sensitivity.
Offer encouraging counselling – student may feel unmotivated to complete tasks.
Offer supportive feedback to parents about academic, social and behavioural performance.
Student may show non-compliance as a result of mood disturbance.
Students with depression may be reluctant to ask for help- be vigilant with supervision.
Be aware of students on medication and understand purpose and any side-effects.
Avoid punitive responses to difficult behaviours – deal with the student privately and calmly.
Initiate conversation – students with depression may be reluctant to do so.
Adult-led activities to increase peer interactions.
Structured seating arrangements with supportive peers to reduce isolation.
Support peers to understand without rejection or teasing.
Broken tasks down into smaller, manageable steps?
Established a peer mentoring program or provided SLSO assistance?
Provided a quiet study area within the classroom?
Rearranged lessons to incorporate periods of high engagement?
Redesigned resources to be visually appealing and engaging?